Black Swan - This One Stays With You

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


I recently saw "Black Swan", the newest film from edgy director Darren Aronofsky.  My daughter and I were practically speechless when the final credits rolled.  I enjoyed it immensely and was blown away by Natalie Portman's acting.  She seems to be on her way to winning the Oscar in March.  If Portman doesn't win, I will lose all faith in the Academy voters.

The combination of excellent cast, groundbreaking direction, and terrific writing make for a very interesting film, all of which is captured using a hand held camera.  The set design, costumes and lighting work together to create a stunning visual experience.  Natalie Portman lost 20 pounds to play the role and we watch her get scary thin as the film progresses.  She remains gorgeous, even in her frailty. I particularly liked the scenes featuring the dancers from the ballet company and the "Swan Lake" costumes. 

I have featured photographs from the film.  I urge you to see it.  Don't expect an uplifting, "feel good" movie.  Do expect a feast for your eyes, a knock-your-socks-off performance by Portman, and to go home thinking about it for days.  It's second viewing worthy, just to put it all together in your own mind.

Portman portrays Nina Sayers, a member of  a NYC  ballet company.  As a new production of "Swan Lake" begins, she realizes that she is getting older and has to get her "big break" soon or not at all, as younger dancers bite at her heels for the leads in the company's production.

Portman channels Audrey a very bad frame of mind

Barbara Hershey portrays Nina's mother.  Although I found her apparent facial cosmetic surgery distracting, she was wonderful in the film.  I have always liked her and she never disappoints.

All photos, copyright Fox Searchlight Films


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