The Black Swan was torture for me, BUT, I had to see it; after all, it’s a contender for Oscars, and the way it looks, Natalie Portman will be walking home Best Actress, instead of more worthy performers like: Annette Bening, Nicole Kidman, Michelle Williams and Jennifer Lawrence.
Movie lovers seems to either embrace this film or reject it as I did. I can’t speak for others, but for me it was like the horror films I ran from as a kid. My best friend Steven couldn’t wait for Saturday SCREAM matinees, I dreaded them. I tried to go along for the ride and be a good sport but there was no way I could stay in my seat when the monster was just about to devour the young girl. Steven laughed at me, ‘come on it’s so fake!” I was sucked in. My screams were filled with terror, followed by late night wake ups.
The elements were all here: a shrewish mother, pushing Natalie on. Natalie’s own self abuse, the theaterical frills offered by the “over the top” director who brought us “The Wrestler” building to the obvious conclusion. No surprises in the plot, no depth to Portman’s character as she descends into her nightmare.
There was a moment that I did enjoy and the movie poster above captures it. Finally Natalie comes into her own, but it was too late.
As I walked away with Tuvia, into the clean, crisp winter sunshine , I remembered our post-movie conversations about Blue Valentine, The Rabbit Hole, Winter’s Bone and The Kids Are All Right. As we left The Black Swan we moved as far away as we could from the two hours of dental torture, to dinner plans and finally, why we had nothing to say about the BS of the Black Swan.