This weekend I went to see "Black Swan" with my 18 year-old son and his best friend (also 18).
My son is very well-read and enjoys the occasional "art" film although his tastes do trend towards horror and action. He was absolutely stoked about seeing this film and all but begged me to take him. He would someday like to be a film critic and has been making more of an effort to broaden his film choices. He's a big fan of "Pi" and "The Wrestler", and I think he figured with the ballet I'd be more inclined to see it. He was right
The best friend also loves horror, but tends to avoid books or movies that require more than minimal thought or effort. He was willing to come along for the rumored "hot lesbian scene".
Both boys enjoyed the movie, as did I
. The cinematography was *gorgeous*. The story was dark, creepy, and disturbing. The theater was fairly full and I was not the only person covering my face and audibly saying "ewww". I somehow enjoyed every second of it (okay, maybe not every second, but, I could peek between my fingers for the explicit parts and only watch as much as I could stomach).
For anyone whose been on the fence about it, if you've heard it was filmed with a hand-held camera and that worried you, don't be worried. The camera motions were very easy and fluid, not jerky or nausea-inducing.
For those who may have heard about Natalie Portman losing 20 pounds for the role, she _is_ blade-thin but she also has a realistic dancer's body. The physical self-abuse and bulimia professional dancers go through is portrayed but not glamorized. It contributes to the "horror".
Some people like Natalie's dancing, others hate it. Personally, I thought it was beautiful. Very tight and precise, just like her character was meant to be. Natalie won't be dancing the swan queen role in any professional companies anytime soon, but she has studied ballet along with her acting for years and she's quite skilled.
The music fits the movie beautifully, even my son was commenting that he was impressed at how smoothly it fit. He's a big fan of Sergio Leone and Danny Elfman, so it was nice to have him enjoy a ballet score. His best friend spent the rest of the night humming "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" because it's the only ballet music he knows (he didn't realize it was also Tchaikovsky).
For anyone whose stuck with me this far, yes, the lesbian scene was "hot". It also managed to completely contribute to the development of Natalie's character and didn't feel gratuitous.
Back to my e-reading. I was really blown away by this movie and wanted to share a mention of it with the rest of the community.