Didn’t anyone ever tell Natalie Portman that pobody’s nerfect? Ironically, in a story that warns about the dangers of perfection, the director and cast nearly achieve it.
Black Swan is the seductive story of Nina Sayers (Portman) whose life is completely surrounded by her job as a ballerina. She’s got drive, technique and a possessive mother, vicariously living through her. With Mommy’s aid, it’s enough to tip the scales of sanity for Nina. Parents who demand perfection seem to do that (see Tiger Woods.)
After landing the lead role in a new production of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, Nina’s paranoia and perfectionist ways lead her astray. The story mirrors Swan Lake as Nina loses herself in ballet, but also loses her mind. Tragic, yet compelling to watch.
Being a person that only has anecdotally experienced ballet, I must say it was not difficult watching almost two hours of it. Ballet itself seem excessive, but with the absurd nature of this movie, it seems to fit. Portman is a favorite of mine, because I believe she’s a smart one on and off the screen. You won’t catch her out of character, even for a minute
Director Darren Aronofsky again proves he’s got a knack for piecing together works that seem supernatural yet grounded, all while exposing the psychological flaws of humans. You always want his characters to achieve their own version of success, but they are the only ones standing in their way.
Black Swan shows beauty. It’s in the film’s music, dance and life, even as tragic as it can be.