I saw “Black Swan” the other night. I won’t say too much about it, except that I loved it. But then again, it’s about a performing artist dealing with demons and ballet, so it was kind of a done deal. Natalie Portman is brilliant, and I’m sure she’ll be nominated for an Oscar. That she was dancing (beautifully) while playing a character expressing herself in dance trying to find her way into playing a ballet character is incredible; I would have had difficulty enough just being on point. To think that she’d doing all that while balancing her weight on a block of wood….
The movie is intense, thrilling. Aronofsky’s direction is passionate, and the way he films dance is full of emotion – the camera is on stage with the dancer, moving with her. When it’s not it’s intense close-up or full body to get a sense of the movement. The storytelling has a trippy feel to it – you’re never sure what’s happening. It’s apt for the madness that the character is slipping into, and illustrative of the black swan/white swan dialectic that’s set up. It’s frenetic and intimate. Mila Kunis is great as well – actually all the cast is uniformly good; Barbara Hershey especially works playing a mother who could possibly be out of a horror movie. In fact, some friends I saw it with felt it had too much of that element, but I disagree. It’s all working to put the audience as deeply off-balance as the character.
I like intense performance, though – Patti Smith, Karen Finley, etc – anyone who feels like they are going to some other place while performing. I guess that’s what most performers aspire to, but some just seem to push a little more deeply and/or hysterically. Refer back to the Ginsburg thing - ecstasy, trance, intensity - a little much at times, but can also transcend like nothing else. Dance, it seems, is one of the easiest places for that to happen - breaking free/breaking down.
Loved the movie. There’s one moment that was so breathtaking that I’m going back just to see it. I hope she wins the Oscar.