We went out this evening, intending to see The King's Speech, which my wife has been wanting to see for a long time. We ended up not being able to see it at the theater we had intended, but we went to another one to see it. When we got there, it was actually sold out! I can't remember the last time I went to see a movie and it sold out. It was definitely more than ten years ago.
Anyway, our options at that point were pretty limited, and we'd heard The Black Swan was good, so we wandered in to see it. It was actually pretty close to sold out as well.
We didn't really know what we were getting into with it; all I knew was that it starred Natalie Portman as a ballet dancer, and that it had won a bunch of awards.
Well, it was all sorts of weird. Natalie Portman's character, Nina, is finally picked for a lead role; the Swan Queen in Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake.
She's in a fairly small, not very successful troupe in NYC, and she lives with her mom. Her mom, it seems, was a ballerina, but gave it up to have Nina. Now, she's living her life through Nina, and doing some painting.
Nina's hero is the older prima ballerina Beth, who wasn't too stable, and tended towards destructiveness. When she is hit by a car after a function at the ballet, it does not do good things for Nina's psyche.
The director tells Nina that she's perfect for the White Swan, but that she can't let go, and let herself become the Black Swan. It seems, at times, that he's just trying to get into her pants, but I think that's not the case. He really does end up seeming like he's just trying to get the best performance possible out of her.
In any event, trying to get herself to let go slowly drives Nina more and more insane. A new ballerina, Lily (played by Mila Kunis), helps her at one point. Their interactions, however, are kind of odd. They don't really flow, although some of that was due to Nina's increasing divorce from reality.
All in all, I thought it was extremely well done, although I can't say as I enjoyed the experience. I literally had to cover my eyes at some points, because there was some really grotesque parts to it.
There's some very small, but important, CGI work in it, and that was beautifully done. It took a while to figure out that it was happening. Kudos to the team that did it. And the acting was very good, across the board. I'm not at all sure about Natalie Portman deserving the Best Actress Golden Globe award, or that she would deserve the Oscar, but she did do a very good job.
I'm not sure how to categorize the movie, but it definitely wasn't the sort of thing I generally go to see. And despite how well done it was, I very much doubt that I'll watch it again. But I'm sure a lot of people will enjoy it. But love it or hate it, you will not be bored, and you will not find it bland.