Movie Review – Black Swan

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Movie Review – Black Swan

Category : Movie Review

Director: Darren Aronofsky

Starring: Natalie Portman, Vincent Cassel, Mila Kunis

Year: 2010

Along with Interstellar, Black Swan may be the best film I’ve seen this decade.  It absolutely blew me away when I saw it in the theatre; I don’t think I had any idea what I was about to experience.  Aronofsky is renowned for his dark, twisted, original interpretation of, well, life I guess, and he brings that stunning viewpoint to the screen every time he directs a film, but Black Swan has to be the highlight of a great career.  What he was able to breathe life into to create this movie is unbelievable, and what the actors were able to harvest from whatever depths they had to reach into is truly amazing.  I don’t rate many films 10/10, especially not something I didn’t grow up loving and that will hold a place in my heart despite whatever flaws it might have.  But this movie is special, it’s a masterpiece of the screen, and it really is practically perfect.

Ballet dance Nina is tired of being just another member of the company, she’s ready for her moment in the spotlight, a moment that needs to come along before she gets any older and heads down the same path as her controlling, living-vicariously mother.  Nina is a talented dancer, but her perfectionism fuels her neurotic behavior, keeping her from letting go in the way she would need to in order to transcend the performance.  The company is putting on Swan Lake, a classic but with a dark take this time, and the Swan Queen is a role Nina desperately wants.  But as she begins to tap into her Black Swan side, a vicious animal that she doesn’t let loose very often, she begins to lose control, misplacing the line she once held so firmly between what you should do and what you can.

One of the themes of this film is perfection, how sometimes you have to let go completely, forget the rules, in order to achieve true beauty.  Well, Aronofsky was able to do just that, releasing this story from its theatrical tether so that it could reach higher than would ever have been expected.  Black Swan is basically perfect, from the haunting music to the wonderful performances, from the frightening mind games to the realistic pressures of the arts.  Watching these characters, you just understand, even if you don’t want to, you understand their evil sides and intentions, the forces that drive them toward success.  Portman was the right choice for Nina, as she’s able to give everything to the role, and Cassel could not have been better as the director of the ballet.  Even Mila Kunis is surprising excellent, or else Aronofsky just knew exactly what to ask from her.  And with an ending that will stun you, Black Swan should go down as one of the best movies of the last twenty years, something that will shock you into giving it all the credit it deserves.

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆