Wednesday, February 1, 2012

100 Movies - No. 14: Black Swan

14. Black Swan (2010)
Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Directed by Darren Aronofsky
Starring Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis and Vincent Cassel

Have you avoided seeing Black Swan because you think it's a film about ballet? That would be a shame because it's so much more than that. The film is the story of Nina (Portman), who aspires to dance the lead role in a ballet. She has to deal with the expectations of her controlling mother and also needs to explore her sexuality to enable her emotions to fully embrace the role she is seeking.

The result is part fantasy, part reality. The two become increasingly blurred as the story progresses and it's left to the viewer to decide what is real and what is imagined. The result is an intense story which can actually be a little frightening at times. Portman won an Oscar for her role and was at her best.

Aronofsky did a great job of placing the viewer in the middle of the action by using unusual camera angles.

If you like Black Swan:

The film is essentially about a woman who is struggling to achieve perfection. The pressure she is under causes her to lose her grip on reality. This idea reminds me of other films in which the line between fantasy and reality is blurred. The ultimate example is David Lynch's Mulholland Dr., which looks at the life of an aspiring actress. Fight Club and even Psycho include similar themes. If you enjoy trying to figure out a story, all three might be of interest.

Click here for my full review of Black Swan.

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