Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Bird Flu

Black Swan (2010) - Aronofsky
It's one of those 'it's all in her head' films. Relax. I haven't blown anything. If you've seen the trailer, you know what's coming. What's commendable here is that Aronofsky reached the comfortable point as a skilled filmmaker that his audience doesn't feel cheated watching his films. Since The Wrestler, he's smart enough to contextualize his actors to fit his projects. All the actors shine (Barbara Hersh as a protective mother, Vincent Cassel as a sleazy ballet instructor, Mila Kunis as seductive rival). Here, once again, Natalie Portman plays a young woman on the verge of going to pieces as she always does. But she doesn't come across as a cry baby. Like Polanski using Mia Farrow's waifish quality fully in Rosemary's Baby, Aronofsky takes advantage of Portman's girlish fragility to 11. Black Swan is way over the top (not that his films were ever subtle) in saint/whore dichotomy with bombastic Swan Lake score. But it fits with visceral visuals creating internal chaos in the character.

Matthew Libatique's dizzing, grainy 16mm/HD camerawork matches perfectly with woman losing her shit theme. Hugely entertaining, this is by far Aronofsky's best film.


  1. Wow, this review doesn't do justification to how much you liked it, I think. You liked it quite a lot, right? I think it was you who said this was Aronofsky's best work so far. Or something like that.

    Also, I finally saw Never Let Me Go. Dusty, I think you'll like it a lot more than the book (no whiny girl voice) and the cinematography is beautiful. (I didn't like it as much as the book, for the same reasons; I liked the narrative of the book and the cinematography of the movie also took away of the human connections/feelings of the book and made it into just beautiful pictures.)

    oh. P.S. I miss you guys. And happy new year!

  2. T:
    I tried to leave a comment on your blog but failed to do so. Something is not right over there. Just wanted to let you know that Blue Valentine is out. Eric saw it and I very much want to see it too.

    Happy New Year to you too.