Cos reviews: ‘Black Swan’

Cos

{SPOILER ALERT, you have been warned, the following review is filled with bits that may spoil the movie, do not proceed with reading if you haven’t seen the movie}

As promised a few weeks ago, here is my review of ‘Black Swan’, be forewarned, you might not agree with what I have to say.

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Let me first say that I liked ‘Black Swan’, I thought it was a good movie, very well made. I for one do not like dark movies, especially when the main character is losing their mind.  That’s just me. I feel like there is enough sadness and horrible things in the world that when I go to see a movie in the theater or on DVD, I need an escape. Take me to a world that I don’t exist in. But regardless, to those who don’t realize it, especially based on the trailer, this isn’t just a psychological thriller; this film delves deep into the mind of Natalie Portman’s character, Nina.

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Let’s start with director Darren Aronofsky, we know he can pull off this type of a film; he’s done it since the beginning. He knows how to play the reality game. What’s real? What’s not real? Just look at ‘Pi’, ‘Requiem for a Dream’, ‘The Fountain’; the only one I can’t really add is ‘The Wrestler’, but I’ll get back to that one in a second.  Aronofsky obviously knows how to play with the audiences emotions when tweaking with reality, whether we know what the hell is going on or not. He’s mastered this. He has consistently been either highly praised for his work or legitimately nominated for an Oscar. And, I do think he deserves at least a nomination, but I’d like to see more from him.

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I know he’s currently signed for the X-men Wolverine sequel (The Wolverine) which I had mentioned on the blog months ago stating it as simply a rumor. I think I even lambasted whoever thought Aronofsky would even remotely consider doing a sequel like this…only for me to get bitch slapped in the face when I found out he is actually doing it. But let’s be serious for a moment, it’s not really a sequel, just another story; he’s going to put his own spin on it, which will be highly welcomed; and both he and Hugh Jackman have worked together on ‘The Fountain’ so they know what they are getting from the beginning.

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I did feel as if he ended both ‘The Wrestler’ and ‘Black Swan’ in the exact same way, both cutting to black at the end of a climatic, dramatic and applaud filled scene that ends with the screen cutting to credits as people cheer, leaving us, the viewing audience, to wonder what actually happened to the main character.

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Now, I did say I liked ‘Black Swan’ but I have to say, upon walking out of the theater, I leaned over to Melissa and said, “This reminded me of what ‘Showgirls’ should have been.”

Yes, that’s right, I said.

If Showgirls director Paul Verhoeven had thought about how drama filled the lives of ballet dancers would have been he truly would have dropped the whole Las Vegas showgirl theme and moved the entire picture to where ever the best ballet companies are (New York I’m sure). I mean, did no one else see the similarity between stories. I don’t mean a girl that loses her mind, I mean, young up and coming dancer takes over for the older one that everyone always hinges on to perform a great show. You see the seedy side of an industry that is usually not seen. I mean, granted, Showgirls was crap and it was written back in the 90’s by the same screenplay writer that wrote ‘Basic Instinct’ (although, I find  BI to be a much more respectable movie than SG—now there is a movie that they should remake! Basic Instinct. Put someone like Amanda Seyfried in the role of Sharon Stone or something…make sure the girl in it isn’t someone that looks like she could be evil—that one is a freebee by me!).

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It pains me to compare a good movie like ‘Black Swan’ to the 90’s gutter trash like ‘Showgirls’, but that is my one comparison.

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I went into the theater with a comment that Adam (Chinoy) had said to me, that Natalie Portman should win the Oscar for her role in the movie. I’ll give her the fact that she worked her ass off, but I hated the way she and Barbara Hershey (her mother in the movie) played off of each other. It just felt like Portman was trying too hard to be the quiet and demure girl that always listened. I felt like it was too much. That part I found to be too over-acted. Otherwise, I can honestly say her slow transformation into the Black Swan throughout the movie was great. She was literally two people fighting against each other, with one side winning out.

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I liked Vincent Cassel and his role as Thomas, the ballet companies head. He brought the right amount of sleaze to the role but also brought the power and notoriety behind someone in his position and for someone who has been at that level for a long time. You knew who he was and what he did simply by his actions.

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I liked Mila Kunis, always a pretty face (I actually didn’t think she was all that until I saw her in Forgetting Sarah Marshall) but I felt like she was simply playing herself, like she always does. Anyone could have played her. But the role fit her and I liked that.

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But like I did say at the beginning, I did like the movie. Very well made, I thought ‘The Wrestler was a far superior movie that didn’t need to delve into the chaotic mind of the main character because everything that the main character was thinking was out there in the open. And I’m not saying that just because I like wrestling, I just thought the movie itself was a much stronger story.

I also don’t think I’d be able to sit through it again. Liked it, but not enough.

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