As I have twin baby girls, I don’t often go out to see movies. Instead, I wait until they arrive on iTunes. Such is the case with Black Swan. Because of this, I had high hopes for this film. I mean, how could a film be nominated for an Oscar unless it was great? (For a second, please disregard Brokeback Mountain and The Reader.)
Unfortunately, I was not impressed by the film. It was two hours of build up to an ending that simply didn’t awe. And even the build up really didn’t make that much sense.
Natalie Portman does a great job acting the white swan part. She’s frail, insecure and completely dependent on her mother, who still acts as if Natalie is 5 years old. When she transforms into the black swan at the end, however, there really isn’t much transformation. Let’s see—she has a lesbian fantasy after being drugged and kisses Vincent Cassel. Aside from that, she really still acts frail and insecure right through to the end of the film. Her transformation is more obvious in the special effects, which aren’t the best.
Despite the film being about a dancer, there is no impressive dancing in the film. Even the end dance is shot with way too many cuts and hand held cameras resulting in a finale that simply underwhelms.
Why all the hoopla about this film? Honestly, if it were directed by someone else and had an unknown actress in the key role it wouldn’t even have been a bleep on the radar of Hollywood. It would be classed as a second rate film that would be playing on the Movies Channel at 1am in 5 years from now.
It has now become a movie that everyone has to love. But let’s face it, it wasn’t that good. It reminds me of Monster’s Ball. Another movie where the female lead has oral sex and consequently receives an Oscar for it.
And for those naysayers who will claim the film isn’t my cup of tea, I’ll give my one sentence reviews of a few relevant movies:
Requiem for a Dream: Brilliant, fascinating and a bitchslap in the emotional face.
The Wrestler: An overrated but good film.
As for “is it true, is it a dream” movies, I am a huge fan of both Inception and Shutter Island. I’m also in the crowd that loved Vanilla Sky.
I liken Black Swan to smoking cigarettes as a teenager. You want to like it because it’s “cool” to smoke. But it tastes horrible and makes you cough. You smoke anyway and pretend you love it. Eventually, you like it because you’ve pretended long enough that it actually tasted good.
Sorry to burst your bubble—it still doesn’t taste good. Ask your wife after you’ve kissed her.