Jan 23, 2011

Black Swan Movie Review


I know this blog isn't typically movie reviews but I would like to expand the content of it and felt inspired to write about this after going to see this film. I went to see the Black Swan last night with the boyfriend after hearing so much about it. It was definitely a brilliant film and I really enjoyed it, even though certain parts made me very squeamish!

I want to be able to speak openly so I am going to go ahead and put a cut in now and warn you:


On the surface, this movie is about a girl (Nina, played by Natalie Portman) who is a professional ballet dancer in the ridiculously competitive world of New York ballet. She lives with her mother who aspired to be a ballerina herself, but her career never quite took off. Nina aspires to be perfect in all aspects, dancing with perfect technique and being the perfect daughter. She auditions for the ballet Swan Lake and, despite the choreographer's reservations on casting her as the black swan, the darker and seductive character of the ballet, she lands the role as the Swan Queen.

This film has more layers than just what appears on the surface. It seems Nina cannot handle the stress of her career and slowing begins losing her mind. Another dancer is cast in the ballet (Lily, played by Mila Kunis), and throughout parts of the film it is difficult to tell if Lily is truly another dancer or if she is part of the workings of Nina's mind.

As she slips further and further from reality, she begins seeing her head on other's bodies, seeing talking pictures and hallucinating events all together (such as the sexual encounters between Lily and herself). She also has vivid imaginings of self mutalation, between peeling skin from her cuticle back to her knuckles, scratching a rash on her back and clipping her nails back to nothing.

As she becomes more and more in touch with the Black Swan persona and her world becomes stranger and stranger, her dancing takes on skills she didn't know she had in her. In the end, just like for the White Swan, there is only one thing that can set her, and her mind, free.

This is a truly brilliant film that I highly recommend it for those who enjoy strange films that require thought. This is definitely not a movie for everyone but I am glad I decided to go see it. Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis both did an outstanding job on this film, as well as Winonna Ryder, whose role was small but powerful (yikes when she took that damn nail file to her face!!). I give Natalie Portman major props for dropping 20 lbs for this role - I don't know where she took the weight from, but DAMN, she was so tiny to begin with!

For those who have seen it, feel free to comment! I'd love to know that you thought of the movie and if you have any interesting theories or interpretations, especially of the ending! For those who stuck with this post to the end, I'd like to know what you thought and if I should continue putting in posts like these!



  • January 24, 2011 at 10:14 AM

    It's funny you did this review - I just saw this yesterday and wanted to read someone else's thoughts on it! I really liked it but at the end I was seriously wondering what was real and what was imagined in her head! (SPOILERS) I know it's obvious that she and Lily didn't "hook up" but everything else was very ambiguous. When did she actually commit suicide? Was her mom that overbearing or was she imagining it? I love movies that get you to think.

    My only issue, if I had to critique it, is some of the sexual situations were a bit much. I don't need that much detail, haha

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