Black Swan

Wednesday 9th February 2011

Director: Darren Aronofsky
Stars: Natalie Portman, Vincent Cassel, Mila Kunis, Barbara Hershey
Year: 2011

Another day, another ballet movie. I'm not picking them out deliberately! But people keep saying they're good, and I keep believing them. Perhaps it's time to stop listening. In all fairness, Black Swan was, for me, more enjoyable than The Red Shoes. But I don't think it deserves the rave reviews it's been getting. Although, judging by the comments as people left the cinema, it seems I'm one of few people to think this.

I understand the point of Black Swan. It aims to show the distress and psychological hardship ballet dancers go through. On that level, it succeeds. I get that you're not meant to know what's really happening a lot of the time. But for me, too much was left unexplained, too much just left hanging. In a rare occurrence, I actually wanted more. I wanted to know what, and why. The fact that I didn't get it just left me feeling that the filmmaker had been lazy and simply couldn't be bothered to answer my questions. The whole movie felt, to me, like the equivalent of a director screaming "give me an Oscar!" (much like, usually, actors and actresses seem to).

I guess it all just felt a bit insubstantial - although perhaps this is appropriate, as this is often the way ballet feels to me. Yes, even after watching Black Swan.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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About Me

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I live in Bristol with my husband Dan (who I married in July 2007), my son Joe (born 2012) and daughter Jess (born 2015). I work at UWE (the University of the West of England) in Bristol as a Research and Open Access Librarian. I'm orginally from Exeter, so moving back to Bristol is a bit like coming home - especially as I studied for my undergraduate degree here (also at UWE). I love travelling and movies, although I get to do a lot less of both since the birth of our children. Although we have still managed to fit in holidays to the Isles of Scilly, Chamonix and a summer in California since Joe was born.