Black Swan: Couldn’t Get Into It

Sitting in the theater as the credits rolled, I felt like one of the critics from The Muppet Show.  And I still feel now the way I felt then: I did not like this movie.

I know, you’re shocked.  Everyone loves Black Swan, you say.  Okay, let’s break it down.

I’m going to get past my own aversion and review the movie in three ways: in mechanics, in acting, and in my own reaction to the story.

Mechanics.  Yes, this was a beautifully made movie.  The camera swum all over, making the audience feel part of the dance.  Also, it is common knowledge that the actors worked very hard to be able to dance like professional ballerinas–Natalie Portman trained every day for a year.

Acting.  Sure, the acting was superb.  But I think it was Michael Caine who said that if someone watches one of his movies and says, wow, that Michael Caine sure is a good actor, he hasn’t done his job well.  Sadly, I have to say that as I watched, I was thinking, wow, that Natalie Portman sure can act. I can see every single emotion pass over her face. But I never forgot that she was acting.  Mila Kunis was wonderful, I never once thought about her as Meg from Family Guy.

My own reaction was to become impatient with the main character, not to empathize with her.  That reaction took any enjoyment from me.  When I saw Darren Aronofsky‘s previous film, The Wrestler, I was completely caught up in the story.  I forgot I was in a theater; I was there in the story, like I didn’t even exist.

Maybe I shouldn’t compare the two movies, but I can’t help it.  I had very high expectations.  They weren’t disappointed exactly, they were just deflated.  The details were absolutely right, but the heart wasn’t complete.


6 Comments Add yours

  1. sofia07 says:

    interesting reviews! though i havent seen black swan yet, but i agree that “The Wrestler” and “Requiem for A dream” definitely set the high standard for Arronofsky. So, which movie do you think the best in 2010?

    1. Hi Sofia! Now that 2010 is over, I think I still feel that Toy Story 3 was the best. I know it’s a “kid’s movie,” but it had it all and I really loved it. I haven’t seen “Requiem” and don’t know that I will. Thanks for reading!

  2. April says:

    Based on my friends reactions, I think I’m going to feel the exact same way . . . good, but not my cup of tea.

  3. Tobin says:

    That’s exactly the way I felt just watching the trailer. I loved Pi and Requiem For A Dream, but I could tell just from the preview that I wouldn’t feel anything watching Black Swan. It was people I had nothing in common with doing things I didn’t really have any empathy with. Your review reinforces my feeling that I can skip this one.

  4. DJ says:

    You are INCORRECT. Black Swan rocked my socks off. And you did not mention Vincent Cassel’s GENIUS. Cancel my subscription to this blog, if I have one.

    Oh, and I still love you.


  5. Marie says:

    Black Swan was fantastic; I disagree with your assessment. That is all.

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