On Friday night, C and I were all excited to get cultured and watch Natalie Portman’s Oscar-winning performance in “Black Swan.” I wrote a post about why I waited so long to see the movie. If you didn’t read it, click here to get caught up. I figured the movie would be pretty weird/disturbing, but it went way above and beyond my expectations.
To be honest, I have no idea what to say about this movie. I know that I didn’t like it. Definitely not. But at the same time, I didn’t hate it. I see why other people may have loved it, but I wasn’t one of them. If I was an “academic-type” then I might have found some motifs or camera angle or line that made “Black Swan” valuable to me, but I didn’t. Because I’m not an academic type. I’m a 22-year old who enjoys the E! Network way too much. I’m not saying I’m dumb. I like to think that I’m smarter than the majority of Americans (but this is based on what I see when I go to the New York State Fair every summer…) but I’m also honest enough to say that I didn’t “get” this movie. I understood the basic plot, but I didn’t really understand the intricacies of it.
Let me put it to you this way, I spent the whole movie tense with fear about what gross, scary thing might happen next. Literally, after the movie was over I felt my whole body relax. I never knew when Natalie was going to start picking her fingernails apart, or pulling feathers out of her skin. I don’t do well with blood. And what was with Beth stabbing her own face with the knife? I know it was one of Natalie/Nina’s delusions but I was not prepared for that. After the movie was done and we went to bed, I was a prisoner in the bed until morning because I was scared of seeing evil Natalie Portman with a knife in my mirror. My bladder did not appreciate this.
Let’s say you can get past the blood that was randomly dispersed throughout “Black Swan.” Then you have the problem of determining what was real and what was not. I understand that was part of the complexity of the film, and that helped illustrate her unraveling psychologically. It was also damn confusing. Did she stab Lily or not? She did, because there’s blood pooling out of the dressing room. Blood= dead person. Oh wait, nope. There’s Lily, alive and well. Did she and Lily hook up? They did, because she started having another crazy vision in the middle of their hook-up. Therefore it must be real, because how could she have a freak-out within a freak-out? Oh wait, nope. They actually didn’t. She really did have two freak-outs at the same time. I felt like I was watching ” A Beautiful Mind” again. At least when I saw that movie I was with my mom (who had seen it), so she could explain things to me. There was no way I was seeing this movie with my mom. Can you imagine? Awkwarddd. Anyway, C and I were also willing to bet that Lily was an extension of Nina’s personality, kind of like in “Fight Club.” We were wrong though, so I guess that’s why we’re watching Oscar-nominated movies and not making them.
I would not say this film was enjoyable/fun to watch. Because of this, I don’t know if I can say the film was “well -done.” I guess it was. The camera angles were interesting, the themes were deep, etc. But I always think a “well-done” film should bring you some sort of pleasure. Maybe I’m wrong. I know well-done films can make you sad (ex: Titanic) and they can make you scared (ex: The Sixth Sense) but this didn’t really make me scared or sad, it just made me tense and creeped out and confused. I suppose if I was a film critic, I would say that this was a “well-done” film… but I’m not. Because of this fact, I don’t really know what to say. I do know that the acting was brilliant. I think Mila Kunis was screwed out of an Oscar nomination, because she kicked ass in this film. She was the perfect creepy, slutty, bad girl to Natalie Portman’s innocent, dedicated, perfectionist. They were both brilliant. I thought the choreographer/director guy was awesomely gross. He gave me the shivers ( in a bad way) every time he was in a scene. Also, I loved that Natalie and her real-life fiance/baby daddy danced a bunch of scenes together. I had to drop that knowledge on C right away. He wasn’t as entertained by it as I was. I loved watching to see if you could sense chemistry between them (even though she was supposed to be uptight and stiff). These are the things that bring me great amusement. It’s fine.
So those are my slightly confused thoughts on “Black Swan.” If you don’t really know how I feel about the movie…it’s okay because neither do I.