Saturday, 12 February 2011

Powerful Portman in a Brilliant Ballet: Black Swan

  Black Swan was well recommended by the five Oscar nomination it received as it came out and, being a film based around a ballet and music by Tchaikovsky, it looked very interesting anyway.  I eventually managed to see it this week and I was very impressed.

  One of the nominations which could well be won by this film is that of Best Actress for Natalie Portman.  She has performed many great roles in her time, Star Wars and V for Vendetta to name a couple, but this is the performance that has truly singled her out as a top actress.

  She moves from the fearful and naiive white swan to the confident and seductive black swan, by the end of the film, easily and effectively, and her final black swan performance is amazing.

  Possibly the best aspect of this film, among many, was the music, a mix of PyotrTchaikovsky and Clint Mansell, coming through the cinema sound system.  Beautiful and powerful, it naturally accompanies the dancing and equally artistic drama.

  Darren Aronofsky directs Black Swan, adding to his short yet impressive filmography including Requiem for a Dream and The Wrestler, making 8 Oscar nominations for his films and wins his first Best Director nomination for this film.  I think it's deserved for the way he presented the on stage scenes, the New York on location scenes and Nina's (Portman) ever loosening hold on reality.

  My favourite scene is probably that dance of the black swan that Portman performs as she finally understands the black swan role she is asked to take.  Beautiful.

  Fans of classical music and ballet will love this film, how Swan Lake is involved in both plot and concept.  It's not a film which is exclusive to music lovers, however, as it is a great psychological thriller in its own right. A film which is not necessarily a family pleaser, it should still be a film on all film lovers' lists.  Expect it to be mentioned at the Oscars in a couple of weeks time.