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Published on January 27th, 2011 | by Andy Gaffney


Review : Black Swan

Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan in many ways should be an ad man’s dream. It has big beautiful dance scenes for girls who enjoy pretty things like unicorns, and it has a very well-publicised sex scene between two of the sexiest actresses on the planet for men who have eyes, the perverts. However it is also a seriously dark and downright odd film all about ballet, which probably makes your average Don Draper’s job a little bit harder. The film revolves around Natalie Portman’s Nina whose dedication and perfectionist approach to ballet pays off when she is offered the lead role in her company’s production of ‘Swan Lake’ by handsome apparent-genius director Thomas Leroy, played in the film by a seedy smug prick doing a Vincent Cassel impression. However Nina’s mental state, already shaky from battling incredible self-doubt and a controlling mother, is pushed into batshit crazy territory when sultry dancer Lily shows up (played by the other actress from ‘That 70’s Show’ not doing a ten year stint for a drugs burst, the lovely Mila Kunis), whose confidence and sexual nature is perfect for the for the flip side of the lead role, the villainous black swan.

From here the movie moves into the surreal world where you are constantly left guessing on what is real and what is not. This allows for some fine scares and creepy moments, the best being one scene involving some taunting moving paintings, which, in case you’re wondering, is a bit like getting off your face near Temple Bar and heading into the wax museum just to imagine The Edge saying your mother never loved you. Which is something we’ve all done really.

The movie can be difficult to watch. Obviously the acting from everyone is top class, and credit to Miss Natalie ‘Won A Golden Globe And Internet Fame With My Nerdy Laugh On The Night’ Portman, who is constantly engaging as the girl falling down the rabbit hole into insanity. However special mention needs to be given to Mila Kunis, who sexes up every scene she is in. A woman so full of confidence and coolness it is impossible not to be rooting for her a little bit. If there is any justice in the world she should get a lot more work after this. If there is any more justice in the world, film makers should go back and using CGI just pop her into scenes to sex them up. Perhaps have her as a secretary in ‘The Apartment’, as one of the pilots listening to the president’s speech in ‘Independence Day’, or in old news videos such as a shocked onlooker after JFK was shot.

While not an easy watch, Black Swan does completely suck you in because you need to know just how in God’s name are they going to end this thing. While it’s not going to be for everyone, despite very pretty dancing and a very sexy… that scene, it is very much worth a watch mainly for the performances on show and to be able to talk about it in the pub after.

Directed by
: Darren Aronofsky

Starring :

Natalie Portman
Vincent Cassel
Mila Kunis

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5 Responses to Review : Black Swan

  1. Kitty Cat says:

    I found Black Swan totally stressful to watch and I don’t think I’d go see it a second time, although I did actually like it. I wanted to glue a pair of socks over Natalie’s hands for the whole thing, but I guess that might have ruined her ballet scenes somewhat.

  2. johnny says:

    Found the film appalling. Why this is nominated for awards is beyond me. Waste of an evening. Mila Kunis though……

  3. I thought that if Natalie Portman wasn’t in it, it would simply be a made for tv film.

    Can’t say I enjoyed it, but i’m glad i saw it.

  4. dinglesurf says:

    I personally thought Black Swan was excellent. This is not a ballet film, it is an allegorical horror film. Up there with the likes of Martin, or the works of Cronenberg or Dario Argento. It borrows heavily from Kafka’s Metamorphasis and to simply go on about how sexy Mila Kunis is, is missing the point by a long way.

    Actually the best performance in the Black Swan was by Barbara Hershey as the mother, who is pitch perfect as the deeply disturbing mother and is reminiscent of Bette Davis at her best.

    If you want to watch a movie about two girls getting off with each other, go and watch Wild Things. Black Swan deserves a much more mature audience.

  5. Sweary says:

    I’m with you there, dinglesurf.

    Also think Cassel deserves kudos for his performance. It’s great to see him get his teeth into a great English-language role; he’s been typecast pretty woefully in the past.

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