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.