Black Swan has finally made its way to the Metroplex, and I was lucky enough to get to see it this weekend! I've heard so many things about this movie, so I was really pumped to see it, and it didn't disappoint. I'll give a general impression of the film for anyone who hasn't seen it, spoiler free!
From the moment the poster leaked online, I knew I was going to be interested in this film. I've never seen Natalie Portman in such a light before, almost unrecognizable. When I found out that Darren Aronofsky was going to direct, I was slightly frightened because his movies are ALWAYS hard to watch. They are unapologetic and raw. I was mostly basing this conclusion on Requiem for a Dream, which, to this day, is a movie I can hardly re-watch. However, as the opening grew closer, buzz for Portman's performance grew louder, and I knew there would be no question of whether or not I would see it, even if I was scared of what might be on screen.
Some of you may have heard that it is classified as a horror movie. This, I can attest to, because even though it is a psychological thriller, there are moments I absolutely did jump because of some frightening images. Also, there is a bit of gore. I didn't know just how much feet and finger nail violence would upset me until this film. Others of you may have heard it classified as a "sexual thriller," which is a term I didn't even know existed until this weekend. As for this label I would say I not only just learned of its existence, but now fully understand its meaning. There is a lot of sexuality in this film. It's not really gratuitous as sexuality is a huge catalyst to some things Nina (Portman) does, why she does them, and why she goes through what she goes through. However, I can understand if you are sensitive about sexuality (or maybe not even sensitive, but just moderate about it) you may not enjoy this film. You cannot escape the sexuality. It is throughout the entire film, so take this into consideration before stepping into the theater. You must be prepared, to give this movie a fair chance.
As for my impression, it was amazing. It's very rare to see a movie that is so beautiful and terrifying at the same time. Plus, blood, sex, and scares don't really bother me. Natalie Portman's performance should get her an Oscar nod, at least. And Mila Kunis was nothing to sneeze at. It was easy for the audience to believe that she was either or both a playful, care-free girl or a scheming, jealous understudy. As a fan of The Texas Ballet Theater and as a person who has seen Swan Lake at least 3 times, it was a frightening look at what might be going on behind the scenes, haha.
I was impressed by how the story is very straight forward with what is going on. Nina is already losing her mind as we enter the story. There is never any question of what is real and what is in her head. It's fairly obvious. And yet getting from the beginning (where I honestly guessed how the end would go) to the actual ending, you are still shocked by what you are seeing. It's nearly perfectly done. The camera work, the lighting in every scene, spot on for the mood and tone every time. Perhaps this is Aronofsky's most complete and best film to date. (Though that's hard for me to say, as I adore The Wrestler so much.)
A+! Now bring on the Awards Season!