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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Black Swan

This post is about the movie Black Swan and it's filled with LOTS of spoilers! Read at your own peril.

Summary first:
Nina (played by Natalie Portman) is a ballerina in a company and she wins the role of the Swan Queen in the ballet Swan Lake. The director of the ballet is driving her hard to be perfect and constantly criticizes her to be a perfect Black Swan, the dark and evil side of the Swan Queen. He also tries to sexually manipulate her but she doesn't give in to him. Nina lives with her overbearing and controlling mother, who babies and manipulates her constantly (tucks her in at night, monitors her food, has her 20 something year old daughter call her mommy.... uh, yeah.).

A new ballerina, Lily, joins the company and tries to be-friend Nina. Lily takes Nina out drinking, dancing, flirting with men, and gets her to use Ecstasy. Nina has a "good" time.

Throughout all this Nina is self harming in all sorts of gruesome ways. Then she starts experiencing really horrible things, and gets into a fight during her opening night performance, and then dances the best performance of her life. And then dies.

Okay, so was she just nuts or what? I have so many questions and I have no idea if I even liked this movie, because I felt so confounded by ambiguous-ness of it all.
  • Did Nina even have lesbian sex with the other ballerina- her rival Lily (played by Mila Kunis)- or not?
  • Did Nina kill the injured ballerina (played by Winona Ryder) in the hospital? Was the ballerina in the hospital even really injured? Was she even in the hospital? Did that ballerina kill herself?
  • Did she see the director having sex with her rival, Lily? Was Lily even a rival or did Nina imagine it?
  • Was the mother )played by Barbara Hershey) really like a character out of Mommy Dearest, or was that part of Nina illusions?
I want to say I was totally shocked that this movie got an R rating! With all the sex talk, the vivid masturbation scenes (3 that I remember), the almost soft core porn sex, it seemed to really be more sex than an R rating.

And the psycho self- harming was pretty brutal and bloody.

I'm not usually one who likes a psychological thriller where the movie actually plays mind games with the audience. I hated feeling like I was being manipulated throughout the entire film and then not having any answers at the end.

I did like the make up for the Swans. I also thought the special effects were amazing: when she turned into an actual swan, in her mind, while she was dancing. That was scary and beautiful all at the same time.

I just don't see how it got a nomination for an Oscar. But apparently I'm the only person who just didn't "get" it!

See you at the movies,
Maggie

4 comments:

Jimmie Earl said...

Glad you filled me in. I thought it was a remake of the 1930's era movie by the same name. Pirates and swashbuckling adventure this one was not.
I won't waste my $$ on going to the video store for that one.
JE

Lilith said...

I absolutely LOVED that movie.

Shan said...

I'm glad you told about it too. No one ever talks about it so I coudn't tell if I would like it or not. I'm thinking....not. Sounds too "artsy"(read: masturbationy) for me. :D

booknut said...

I'm not sure if I liked this movie. Really hard to tell what was real and what was in Nina's mind. I think she never had a thing with Lily, it was all in her head. I also don't think Lily was her rival. I think that it was all in Nina's head. She was her own rival. Two sides of herself were competing. I think her mom was bad, but not as bad as she was in Nina's mind. I think that Nina injured the ballerina in the hospital. Not sure why I think that though. Definitely a different movie. Not one I would watch again willingly.