Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Review- Black Swan

If you’re looking for an end-of-the year festive flick to get you in the holiday spirit, Black Swan is probably a bad choice.

If, however, you’re in the market for a beautifully crafted thriller overflowing with desperation, jealousy, love, lust and characters consumed by their passions, then this is the one to check out.

Directed by Darren Araonofsky, the guy behind such films as Pi, Requiem for a Dream, and last year’s The Wrestler, you should already know you’re in for a dark, emotional and intimate thrill ride. Black Swan is expertly shot, especially during the hypnotic, dizzying dance sequences, and perfectly paced. The characters, all driven to an unsettling degree, show a passion that should be equally envied and feared.

Black Swan stars Natalie Portman as Nina Sayers, a young and beautiful ballerina who, while perfect on the stage, lacks the ability to let herself go and become the characters she’s portraying.

Nina still lives at home with her mother, occupying a bedroom frozen in time from a 13-year-old child’s existence. The mother, played by Barbara Hershey, is quite possibly the eeriest thing you’ve seen on a screen all year. Hershey is marvelous in her portrayal of the over-controlling Erica Sayers.

The cast is filled out by the strong and demanding instructor Thomas Leroy, well played by the haunting Vincent Cassel, and the energetic and mysterious Lily, a surprising performance turned in by the up-and-coming Mila Kunis.

Thomas looks to Nina to become his troupe’s new star in the upcoming performance of Swan Lake, a responsibility that will push both Nina’s body and mind to the breaking point.

With the added pressure of a possible role thief in Lily, an instructor that expects absolute perfection and a mother who is living vicariously through her talented daughter, Nina soon finds herself struggling desperately to keep up in a reality that could very well be slipping away from her.

There are also some creative, yet subtle, uses of special effects that add a great deal to the nightmarish atmosphere of the entire picture.

What this all boils down to is an intoxicating concoction that will keep the audience guessing, and cringing, until the very end. I loved it.


Ben-Jamin said...

Killer still you pulled there. Looks like a self reflection thing. I may have to go see this now.

-Ryan Winslett said...

Yeah. That's from when things really start to get bizarre. Some really good, unsettling moments throughout.