The rants and raves of a teenage cinephile who is just a little bit obsessed with Catherine O'Hara and Hayao Miyazaki.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Incoherent Ramblings Regarding "Black Swan"

Because I cannot even begin to wrap my head around it enough to write any kind of formal review, I decided to do this instead. It's like, a review, minus all that stuff you learned in English class about development and paragraphs and stuff! Bahaha.
  • After the movie ended, a very candid woman behind me loudly exclaimed: "What the HELL was that?!", which gave me a giggle. Speaking of giggle, during a scene that, at the time, I thought was particularly serious, a woman near the front of the packed theater began laughing hysterically. It was a little awkward though it did cause me to see the obvious humor that existed during that shot.

  • I know I'm totally the first one in the whole world saying this, but, Natalie Portman basically knocks it out of the park. In fact, hers is probably my favorite female performance this year. I never once saw her acting - I simply saw Nina Sayers onscreen, and I was totally immersed. Her descent into madness is perfectly timed and brilliantly executed. And how about that scene where she was on the phone with her mom in the bathroom stall? Oh my goodness. That was just perfect.

  • The supporting cast is great too even though this is obviously about Nina, and nobody else. Mila Kunis (who was kind of awesome) is seductive and mysterious without being cliche, Hershey is scary and overbearing without being irritating, and Cassell is sultry and egotistical without being stupid.
  • But my personal favorite in the supporting cast was Winona Ryder. She gets her own whole bullet point! As I was thinking about it today, I think her total screentime was probably about 5 minutes (if even that) and in that time she probably only says about 3 lines, but even so I left the movie with her character having left the greatest impression on me. As Beth, the past her prime dancer, she evokes so much in just the way that she carries herself, the way that she speaks, the looks in her eyes. She was just so captivating to behold.

  • Um, technically, this movie is kind of perfect. The cinematography is absolutely gorgeous, and the score...ah, ah, ah the SCORE. Thank you Clint Mansell, for being freaking awesome once again. The way that the score seamlessly intertwines with Tchaikovsky and the way that it could stand alone as its own ballet music is It heightens the emotion in every scene and is so perfectly orchestrated.

  • I was effin' scared during this movie. Like, the most scared I've been in a LONG time at the movies. Maybe even ever. Though I haven't seen a lot of scary movies. But I was seriously clammy the whole time. I also felt kind of sick for the rest of the day after watching it - though that's probably the fault that all I ate all day was a bagel and a sandwich from Starbucks. Not the most stomach-friendly choice. Hehe.

  • Personal Story: A couple hours after I saw this, I had one of the more rigorous piano lessons I've had in quite some time, and I just kept thinking about the movie, and how Thomas was like, intensely coaching Nina and how she was getting all stressed and I kind of related. Okay, I don't know if anyone can fully relate to this movie, but the theme of a relentless pursuit of success and how it can affect your persona really resonated with me.

  • I loved it.



  1. Glad to hear you never see Portman "acting", it's always one of my concern when I see a movie she is in. Every so often, there is a scene in most of her movies where she feels completely flat and takes you out of it.

  2. You lucky in-a-major-city-getting-to-see-this-sure-to-be-amazing-damn-thing BASTARD.

  3. Castor: I hope you shall not be disappointed with her! I agree with what you're saying about her being flat in a lot of her movies, but she really transcends it this time and I thought she did an absolutely amazing job.

    Simon: AWWWWW! well I cannot WAIT until you get to see it because I am almost 100% certain that you will love it. Haha

  4. so i'm writing up my own review now,
    i'm trying hard to think of words that can describe how perfect that bathroom scene was but i can't find any.
    although i'm not totally drooling over the film as a lot of people seem to (i still think it's great) i think natalie portman is easily the best female performance this year.

  5. I saw it yesterday and enjoyed although not as much as you did. Much like its protagonist, it's technically masterful yet lacks the fire and passion that is preached throughout the movie. The only scene that was truly emotional was the one where Nina goes to the bathroom to tell her mother about the news. Portman simply nailed that scene.

  6. There's a delirium that runs through Black Swan, a sense of stress and anguish and mad momentum, that's both exhilarating and terrifying.


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