A Swan Soars

27 Oct

I finally did it. I finally buckled down and watched Black Swan. I was pleasantly surprised. It’s not that I didn’t think I would enjoy the movie. I did. It’s just I didn’t know what to expect. In the back of my mind there was a part of me that thought I wouldn’t like it. Perhaps just like the main character of the film Nina. I was suffering from a certain amount of doubt. It’s odd because the film received such praise during it’s 2010 Oscar run. But just like Nina. Black Swan dazzles turning this innocent doubter into a hardcore believer.

This transformation that I  found in myself, in many ways parallels the main character of the movie.

The story follows the production and selection of a new lead ballerina for Swan Lake ballet by the prestigious New York City Company after the companies director Thomas Leroy (Vincent Cassell) needs to replace his long standing mainstay Beth Macintyre (Winona Ryder) who is forced into retirement. The production requires an exceptionally talented dancer who can not only encompass the light and innocent White Swan but also the almost divine like dark and sensual Black Swan. In a company bursting with talent, two members of the group stand out.

There is the Innocent Nina Sayers, played by Natalie Portman, who on the strength of her stand out performance won the 2010 Academy award for best acting and the Dark and Vuluptous Lily (Mila Kunis) who plays antagonist to Nina’s Pysche.

Nina is chosen to be the principle ballerina but not without struggle. Thomas informs her that she is perfect as the White Swan but lacks the passion and sensuality of the Black Swan. A trait that her counterpart Lily is exceptionally gifted with. This idea begins to eat at Nina, compounding her paranoia into fits of anger and deadly hallucinations.

A key element of the film is the relationship between Nina and Lily. What appears to be Lily helping Nina loosen into her new role and embrace her more sensual side turns into Nina starting to believe that Lily has alterior motives. She thinks that Lily is out to get her role and she might be right?

With Black Swan Director Darren Aronofsky is hitting on all cylinders, creating his most psychological entrancing film since requiem for a dream. It’s terrifying. It’s beautiful. It’s sexy and above all it’s a work of art.

Rating: 9/10

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