Black Swan (2010)

The Weirdest Movie of the Year....but also one of the Best.

This has got to be the weirdest damn movie I've ever freaking seen in my life.....but I wouldn't have it any other way. "Black Swan" isn't for the faint of heart, nor would I suggest it for those that fail to see the artistic side of cinema, as this movie is a work of art. Don't let the fact that it's based on a ballerina fool you either, as the story is much darker than one would have you believe. Set in New York City, Nina (Natalie Portman) is obsessed with her career in dancing, as she tries to be a perfectionist in her craft. Still living at home with her ex-ballerina mother, whom likes to control every feasible aspect of her life. Seriously, this woman takes the term, smothering, to a whole new level. To say that Nina has lived a sheltered life would be a drastic understatement. However, as luck would have it, her director, Thomas Leroy (Vincent Cassel) replaces his former aging star ballerina, Beth MacIntyre (Winona Ryder),with Nina. Thus, she's finally given the dream role of a life time, when she's given a chance to star as the "Black Swan." Like all young girls who get to live out their dreams, Nina was just overwhelmed with joy, at first.

However, she soon comes to realize that her dream may become more than what she bargained for, as the mounting pressure of her success consumes her psyche. She starts to have bizarre hallucinations that not only haunt and corrode her mind, it also causes her to question the fabric of her own sanity. Seeing constant illicit visions of her understudy, Lily (Mila Kunis), seducing and trying to sabotage her at every turn, but is that truly the case? Or perhaps another twisted perversion of reality within Nina's mind? I could say, but that would be telling. After all, part of this film's charm is the mystery and thrills of it. At every turn in the film, it leads from one bizarre plot twist to the next, to where even the most intelligent viewer will begin to question the outcome of this movie.

As I stated before, this movie isn't for the faint of heart, as it contains quite possibly some of the most disturbing images ever to be conceived in a film. Ranging from all sorts of deviant acts of perversions, to even sinister acts like murder and self mutilation. The images you see will leave a lasting imprint on your psyche.

Heck, there's even images that are just flat out weird, as you won't believe what your seeing. In one scene, Nina self pleases herself at the suggestion of her director. For you see, according to Thomas, she has the control, and grace to be the white swan quite perfectly. However, the lead role, in this ballet, requires her to play the black swan as well. The black swan isn't about grace; rather the role is about passion and loss of control in one's inhibitions. Something that Nina struggles with, as she's used to living a sheltered life style. However, as we watch this scene involving masturbation, along with the lesbian make out one with her and Kunis, we soon see our protagonist not only lose her control inhibitions, but a loss of her perception of reality. One moment, you'll believe Lily is out for Nina's role with a vengeance; only to end up questioning whether or not it actually happened at all.

What struck me eerily about this movie was that the events of the ballet almost mirrored Nina's hallucinations, as the pressure of the role was crushing her in real life. Using bizarre images and special effects to display the internal conflict within Nina, as her imagination tends to grow even more illicit as the movie plays on. Almost dragging her, as well as the audience, down the path of insanity, as she's unable to fathom what's real or not anymore.

Darren Aronofsky does an excellent job orchestrating this masterpiece, as his usage of symbolism throughout the movie is very reminiscent of legendary director, Akira Kurasawa's, previous work. Fully captivating the audiences' imagination, as he not only tells a story that breaches the minds and hearts of it's viewers, it also leaves them gasping for more.

Like Leonardo DiCaprio for his performance in "Shutter Island", Natalie Portman hands down deserves to walk away with an Oscar for this role in "Black Swan." Anyone that dares to say otherwise, needs to see this film, as the Academy would be insane not to give her one for this part. Indeed, Natalie Portman has always been a highly under rated actress, but it seems like her character, she's finally moved into the spot light with this role. Unlike her character though, Natalie doesn't buckle under the pressure, as she delivers a performance truly worthy of admiration.

I could go on forever about this film, but I think I've made my case. Anyone that dares says that movies are nothing more than commercialized garbage, will soon eat their own words when they see this film. "Black Swan" is the very definition of what a dramatic film could be. I highly recommend it, as this earns a three and a half out of four. Although it does deserve a perfect four, but I know the average movie goer probably won't like this film, due to its graphic nature and artistic flair. However, for those that truly appreciate the artistic side of cinema, then you'll be in for a real treat.

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Comments 22 comments

lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 5 years ago from Bishop, Ca

You've absolutely convinced me, Steven!

Now to see if my lil town shows it. Somehow I think I'll have to rent the DVD. ;(


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 5 years ago Author

That's cool. I'm glad I could help then Lorlie. I hope you like the movie when you see it.


Castlepaloma profile image

Castlepaloma 5 years ago from Saskatchewan, Canada

I'll go see the show.


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 5 years ago Author

Cool. I hope you enjoy the movie when you see it then. Thanks for stopping by.


yenajeon profile image

yenajeon 5 years ago from California

I desperately have been wanting to see this! Perhaps tomorrow!


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 5 years ago Author

Thats cool. I hope you like the movie then, as it's very good. The only advice I can give you though is that it's one of those films where you have to pay attention to every minute of it; otherwise you'll miss something important to the story. However, it's still a great movie, as I think Natalie Portman really out does herself in this. Anyways, thanks for stopping by yenajeon, as it's always a pleasure seeing you.


Beth100 profile image

Beth100 5 years ago from Canada

Intrigruing. I've heard mixed reviews from a few workmates -- some are in agreement with you and a couple of others, well, I don't listen to them anyways! :) I'll be checking this one out on my own when I have a night to myself. :) xox


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 5 years ago Author

That's cool. Well, I hope you enjoy the movie when you see it Beth, as I'm curious to see what you'll think of it. Anyways, thanks again for stopping by, as it's always a pleasure seeing you. ;) xoxoxo


rkummer profile image

rkummer 5 years ago

Your writing style is eerily similar to my own. I feel like I saw the movie and wrote up this review! In other news, I NEED to see this movie! I'm a huge Aronofsky fan, having seen and owned all of his previous efforts. I am a fan of movies that deal with perception and reality (I wrote a perfect film analysis paper on Vertigo for a college course that dived into these very subjects). Wonderful job!!!


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 5 years ago Author

Thanks rkummer. I appreciate the nice compliments. I must say after reading your review on "Shutter Island", it does seem like you have a point about our writing styles, as I can see the similarities. Anyways, I'm glad you liked the review, and I can't wait to read your analysis of it once you see "Black Swan." Trust me, if you loved "Shutter Island", then I know you'll like this movie too. Anyways, thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts with us here. :)


Tina Kachan profile image

Tina Kachan 5 years ago from Europe, Croatia

I saw the movie a week ago and loved it. :) I was wondering though about something, and I have been meaning to ask someone regarding Nina`s relationship with her mother. Do you think her mother was sexually abusing her? I noticed some lines and scenes which were suggesting that, but my friends don`t seem to agree with me. What do you think?


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 5 years ago Author

Hmm...that's a very interesting query there. I never looked at their relationship that way, to be quite honest. However, in hindsight, I can see how that might be a possibility. To be honest, I don't even think the mother was real at all. If you notice the clothes she wears, she never changes them at all; even when she's cheering for Nina in the audience.

Therefore, I just assumed that her mom was verbally abusive and controlling her all the time, whom might've died a while back. Add in the fact, that she was an ex ballerina herself that she was always pressuring Nina to live out her dreams; while keeping her on a tight leash socially. That's why I just assumed for the most part that she might've been partially crazy to begin with, to be quite honest.

However, you might be right about the sexually abused part, as it would explain a few things. Like her obvious fear of intimacy, and the sexually perversed fantasies regarding between her and Lily, whom she imagines as another influential female figure; outside her mother. I'll definitely have to watch the film again sometime to look for that. Thanks for bringing that up, as it's always great to hear other people's perspectives on a psychological thriller like this one.


Tina Kachan profile image

Tina Kachan 5 years ago from Europe, Croatia

I never thought about it like that. Thanks for answering. Like you said in your hub, it is definitely one of those movies which you have to see more than once and pay close attention. I read some theories where even Lily didn`t exist, but I don`t believe that. Good hub ;)


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 5 years ago Author

Nah, I don't know if i buy into the whole Lily theory not existing bit either. However, it is an interesting theory though. Anyways, I'm glad you liked the hub, as it's always a pleasure hearing comments from lovely ladies such as yourself. ;)


Tina Kachan profile image

Tina Kachan 5 years ago from Europe, Croatia

awwww, thank you :)


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 5 years ago Author

Your welcome. anytime. ;)


xobabiekriszxo 5 years ago

i didnt understand this movie at all when i seen it. it was so confusing and weird but now that i've read this blog, i get the sense of the movie now. it makes me want to see it again because now i have an idea of what is actually going on lol .. really good blog though :)


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 5 years ago Author

Thanks. I'm glad I could help. Hopefully, the next time you see it, you'll like it more. :)


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 5 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

Well, I couldn't help peeking. I just saw this one last week also (same time as I saw The Social Network). You've nailed it. Weird and wonderful in every aspect -- especially Natalie Portman deserving the Oscar. I agree.

I will probably write a review of this soon.

Well done! MM


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 5 years ago Author

Thanks MM, that means a lot coming from you. I will definitely be on the look out for your hub on this film, as i'm a bit curious to see what you'll say about it. Anyways, thanks again for stopping by. :)


SammySammo profile image

SammySammo 5 years ago from Boston, MA

This movie is definitely one of the creepiest movies I've seen. I don't think it's the type of movie you would watch twice.


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 5 years ago Author

i agree. I think it's one of those rare movies it's best watched in small doses like once every year or so, but it's very good if you ask me. :) Anyway, thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. :)

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