Black Swan Review

Andrew Baumgartner, Editor

2010 was a year for good movies, not great movies, but good movies. The only movies I can think of that have received a lot of noteworthy Oscar buzz, are The King’s Speech, The Social Network, and True Grit. But one movie that stands above the rest, at least on my list, is the latest film in the intriguing career of Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan (rated R).

The plot of this movie is simple: brilliant ballet director Thomas Leroy (Vincent Cassel) is in fear of putting on another stale ballet performance. To prevent this, he puts on a production of Swan Lake and casts the innocent and lovely Nina Sayers (Natalie Portman) as the new Swan Queen. There is so much more to this film that makes it great. The plot is supposed to be Swan Lake one in a different light. Nina is the White Swan and she meets Lily (Mila Kunis) who is the Black Swan and as she starts to talk and hang around with, Nina becomes more like the Black Swan. The prince in the ballet is more like the role of Swan Queen in the film, because Nina thinks that Lily is trying to steal the role from her. Nina’s internal struggle is beautifully portrayed as this psychological killer makes the viewer forget what is reality and what is the Black Swan taking a hold on Nina.

The role of Nina Sayers skyrocketed Natalie Portman to the top of my “People to Marry List”, which includes such notable cuties as Zooey Deschanel, Emma Watson and Jen Cody. She was that great. Now I can’t even picture Portman in another role because to me she is Nina Sayers. She was brilliant. Her facial expressions and body language, the way she spoke and carried herself all screamed ballerina. This role erased every preconceived notion of Portman that I had before. No more Evey from V for Vendetta, no more Sam from Garden State, and no more Padme Amidala (thank god for that).

Another important characteristic of this movie is the portrayal of sexuality. Ballet, Natalie Portman, and Aronosfsky films in general are usually not things that are considered sexual. Interestingly this movie is not sexual in the conventional sense, but instead the sexuality of the subject is used to exploit the loss of innocence that comes with the transition from the white swan to the Black swan.

Black Swan is a movie everyone should see. It is sexy, haunting and beautiful and it rally could not be done better. Natalie Portman deserves the Oscar for best actress, and likewise, Aronofsky deserves it for best director. On a scale of 1 to brilliant, I give this movie a brilliant.