26 December, 2010

Black Swan

I have concluded that I don't want to write a blog :)
But I'll put here some random thoughts I'm having on movies I've seen, books I've read and things I've learned.

So on to the subject of the day. What had stricken me as the most interesting movie of the year: Black swan.
This movie has 2 outstanding, almost perfect elements: the poster (it has a bit of "hauntingly beautiful" to it) and the idea. And while the storytelling is not perfect it does deliver and near the ending all it has been builing up bursts in a crescendo of action and emotion. While most of the movie Natalie Portman acts like she is made of wood, you know like in Star Wars, this time it actually fits as she is supposed to be somewhat stiff and just mimicking emotions. However her transformation into the black swan at the end really surprised me and leads me to think she can actually act. And pretty well too.
Now jumping on to the supernatural elements some of them seem very well in place like an unexplained rash and bleeding of fingers, through impressions of seeing a familiar face on the street, to hallucinations while on drugs and an actual transformation into a black swan on stage, some others like hallucinations in the hospital and before the show could have been handled subtler or more masterfully. For example in the cabin as I didn't understand what exactly was happening it ruined immersion and made me not care anymore. Fortunately the beautiful performance follows that rescues and finally manages to create a nearly perfect ending.
However, there is one fault I find in it... the fact that watching the trailer or reading a two-line review basically renders the first hour of the movie useless, it adds surprisingly little:

As the ballet company is ditching their has-been lead ballerina (Winona Ryder, wink) they are looking for a replacement. For the opening show of Swan Lake Nina Sayers (Natalie Portman) would make an ideal virginal  white swan, but she lacks the passion of her twin sister, the black swan. Enter Lily, who is a natural but kind of lacks discipline, and the stage is set. Will Nina have what it takes or will getting "friendly" with Lily have other consequences?

Fortunately it didn't get actually boring. Here's the trailer:

<SPOILER> And now for the conclusion. What is really awesome about this movie is how it is a metastory, a Swan Lake itself just transported to modern times. Even the credits at the end credit all the main actors in double roles, and I thought it was wonderful and was really amazed how imdb didn't spoil this one... When you look at the movie it wasn't really the only option for the final act, that's what makes it special </SPOILER>

And giving credit where it's due, below is the review which got me to watch it, and while it does contain some nonsense it is one of his better recommendations, not like the ones involving superhero movies.

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