Black Swan

Here's the place to talk about DVDs (or VHS) films and movies you have seen on television and recommend or don't recommend. Discuss actors and scores, too.

Moderators: Lance, Corlyss_D

Post Reply
Cosima___J
Posts: 1486
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2010 1:38 pm
Location: Georgia

Black Swan

Post by Cosima___J » Mon Dec 13, 2010 5:10 pm

I am very eager to see this movie. The reviews I've read sound pretty good. Trouble is, Black Swan is still in limited release, so it is not being shown yet here in my town. Darn!

Has anyone seen it yet? I'd love to hear some comments by CMGers.

Cast and synopsis from IMDb:

Cast

Natalie Portman ... Nina Sayers / The Swan Queen
Mila Kunis ... Lily / The Black Swan
Vincent Cassel ... Thomas Leroy / The Gentleman
Barbara Hershey ... Erica Sayers / The Queen
Winona Ryder ... Beth Macintyre / The Dying Swan
Benjamin Millepied ... David / The Prince
Ksenia Solo ... Veronica / Little Swan
Kristina Anapau ... Galina / Little Swan
Janet Montgomery ... Madeline / Little Swan
Sebastian Stan ... Andrew / Suitor
Toby Hemingway ... Tom / Suitor
Sergio Torrado ... Sergio / Rothbart
Mark Margolis ... Mr. Fithian / Patron
Tina Sloan ... Mrs. Fithian / Patron
Abraham Aronofsky ... Mr. Stein / Patron

Nina (Portman) is a ballerina in a New York City ballet company whose life, like all those in her profession, is completely consumed with dance. She lives with her obsessive former ballerina mother Erica (Hershey) who exerts a suffocating control over her. When artistic director Thomas Leroy (Cassel) decides to replace prima ballerina Beth MacIntyre (Ryder) for the opening production of their new season, Swan Lake, Nina is his first choice. But Nina has competition: a new dancer, Lily (Kunis), who impresses Leroy as well. Swan Lake requires a dancer who can play both the White Swan with innocence and grace, and the Black Swan, who represents guile and sensuality. Nina fits the White Swan role perfectly but Lily is the personification of the Black Swan. As the two young dancers expand their rivalry into a twisted friendship, Nina begins to get more in touch with her dark side - a recklessness that threatens to destroy her. Written by Fox Searchlight Pictures

ch1525
Posts: 991
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2005 3:53 pm
Location: New Orleans
Contact:

Re: Black Swan

Post by ch1525 » Sat Dec 18, 2010 2:17 pm

Very good!!!

I can't imagine anyone who posts on CMG would not love this movie.

Pretty much everything about it is great... the acting, the costumes, the cinematography, the soundtrack (both the original Clint Mansell material and the good 'ol Tchaikovsky stuff).

I really enjoyed this one. Not quite as good as The Fountain, but close! This is a movie I think will improve with future watchings.

Auntie Lynn
Posts: 1123
Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 10:42 pm

Re: Black Swan

Post by Auntie Lynn » Mon Dec 20, 2010 9:10 am

I posted the following on the Amazon classical music thread - and - mirabile dictu! everyone agreed with me...

*****

Black Swan takes psychodrama and wraps it in the trappings of classical dance. I have NEVER seen a good dance movie. At least The Red Shoes had a little truth in it, plus Shearer was a better dancer. Anyway, the showing of B/S I saw was packed with an audience of baseball caps and fat middle aged folk who don't know a plie from a tendu. These folks usually come away with the misguided notion that this movie portrays the real world of dance which could be further from the truth. I have worked with a generation and a half of ballerinas who were the most approachable, friendly, hard-working, focused, dedicated, responsible etc. etc. There might be a couple of people around this site who know what goes into the making of a real ballet operative - and why so few really make it...kiss kiss and happy holidays...

*****

Absolute trash - save your money...

HOWEVER, Ben Millepied looked pretty good - didn't have much to do - saw my old friend and co-worker Sergio Torrado...kind of wasted him...

ch1525
Posts: 991
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2005 3:53 pm
Location: New Orleans
Contact:

Re: Black Swan

Post by ch1525 » Mon Dec 20, 2010 2:03 pm

Auntie Lynn wrote:I posted the following on the Amazon classical music thread - and - mirabile dictu! everyone agreed with me...

*****

Black Swan takes psychodrama and wraps it in the trappings of classical dance. I have NEVER seen a good dance movie. At least The Red Shoes had a little truth in it, plus Shearer was a better dancer. Anyway, the showing of B/S I saw was packed with an audience of baseball caps and fat middle aged folk who don't know a plie from a tendu. These folks usually come away with the misguided notion that this movie portrays the real world of dance which could be further from the truth. I have worked with a generation and a half of ballerinas who were the most approachable, friendly, hard-working, focused, dedicated, responsible etc. etc. There might be a couple of people around this site who know what goes into the making of a real ballet operative - and why so few really make it...kiss kiss and happy holidays...

*****

Absolute trash - save your money...

HOWEVER, Ben Millepied looked pretty good - didn't have much to do - saw my old friend and co-worker Sergio Torrado...kind of wasted him...
No offense, but I think that is a pretty goofy viewpoint from which to analyze this movie. Maybe Aronofsky should have included a disclaimer at the beginning of the movie stating that ballerinas or those who claim to be experts on the ballet world should not view the movie as it is not an accurate portrayal of what that world is like. Maybe he also should have stated that ballerinas do not typically sprout swan wings just in case people were confused! :roll:
Last edited by ch1525 on Mon Dec 20, 2010 5:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

HoustonDavid
Posts: 1222
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 12:20 am
Location: Houston, Texas, USA

Re: Black Swan

Post by HoustonDavid » Mon Dec 20, 2010 5:07 pm

Chad, if we all went to movies based upon the accuracy of their portrayal of events, real
people, professions, or anything else, the theaters would be empty, television shows wouldn't
last two weeks, and video sales/rentals would be in the crapper. As a former Marine, I can tell
you the portrayal of military life on film is a sad, even bad, representation of the "real thing".

War movies, with very occasional exceptions, are pure hocum, even trash. By and large, the
better films are an escape from reality, or an insight into our fellow dwellers on planet earth
via drama, comedy, musical, mystery, romance, even sexcapade. If you want reality, hang out
on a street corner and watch the passing parade. By and large, like most of our passing lives,
it is mundane and boring, which is probably why we like to go to the theater in the first place.
"May You be born in interesting (maybe confusing?) times" - Chinese Proverb (or Curse)

ch1525
Posts: 991
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2005 3:53 pm
Location: New Orleans
Contact:

Re: Black Swan

Post by ch1525 » Tue Dec 21, 2010 11:58 am

That's the point I was trying to make, HoustonDavid! Perhaps my healthy dose of sarcasm threw you off. :)

Cosima___J
Posts: 1486
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2010 1:38 pm
Location: Georgia

Re: Black Swan

Post by Cosima___J » Tue Dec 21, 2010 4:08 pm

I just got the chance to see Black Swan and was thoroughly entranced! The music, thanks to Tchaikovsky, was gorgeous. The story was quite intriguing and Natalie Portman gave the performance of a life time. I would just say to Auntie that this film was never intended to be a real life portrayal of the world of ballet. Not at all! It's a dramatic unfolding of the mental breakdown of a human being, i.e., Portman's ballerina character. It left you wondering how much of the action was supposed to be real and how much was just in the feverish mind of Portman's character.

However, I can attest to the reality of the scene that showed blood in the lamb's wool in the dancer's shoes. Been there, done that.

HoustonDavid
Posts: 1222
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 12:20 am
Location: Houston, Texas, USA

Re: Black Swan

Post by HoustonDavid » Tue Dec 21, 2010 4:18 pm

You're right, of course, Chad. I really should have put Auntie Lynn's name in the intro.
I thought about your comment and realized I'd addressed it to the wrong person, but
didn't think it was worth changing. Mine is just an expansion of your thought. I agree
with Cosi, that the plot is a character study, not a documentary of the ballet world.
"May You be born in interesting (maybe confusing?) times" - Chinese Proverb (or Curse)

Ricordanza
Posts: 1726
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2005 4:58 am
Location: Southern New Jersey, USA

Re: Black Swan

Post by Ricordanza » Sun Dec 26, 2010 9:15 pm

ch1525 wrote:I can't imagine anyone who posts on CMG would not love this movie.
Put me in the "thumbs up" column for this film. Love may be too strong a word, but it's an excellent character study, with a memorable performance by Natalie Portman. As for the relationship to the "real" ballet world, I'm not uncomfortable with a bit of artistic license. Then again, notwithstanding Auntie Lynn's description of the wonderful people in the ballet world, I have no doubt that it has its share of those with eating disorders, arrested maturity, conflicted sexuality, etc. as assembled in the composite character of Nina.

Guitarist
Posts: 1160
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2008 10:22 pm
Location: Davis, CA

Re: Black Swan

Post by Guitarist » Sun Dec 26, 2010 10:08 pm

I saw it today and loved it! It's easily the most gripping psychological (psycho-sexual?) thriller that I've seen in a long time. I can't get it out of my head! In fact, I may need to see it again. Natalie Portman certainly deserves an Oscar--what a performance. My wife thought it was more violent and disturbing than necessary; I disagree--the really ugly scenes greatly added to the nightmarish/hallucinogenic atmosphere. Highly recommended, but not for the faint of heart.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests