Entertainment Magazine: Film: 2010: "Black Swan"

Black Swan-  A Dying Breed

By Miv Evans

Black Swan is the story of how a ballerina takes her dancing from brilliant to even better, which is not much of a journey by anyone's standards.  With so little to work with, and only one dimensional characters to tell the tale, this film flails around for two arduous hours, much like a dying swan, with only the fall of the curtain to put it out of its misery.     

Nina (Natalie Portman) is a ballerina whose life is completely consumed with dance, and when Thomas Leroy (Vincent Cassel) decides to replace his prima ballerina for his next Swan lake production, Nina is his first choice.  Although Nina is the perfect white swan, she struggles to create the passion needed to depict the black swan and is faced with constant criticism from her artistic director.

The cleverly cut trailer of this film makes it look like a psychological thriller, which is totally misleading.  It's actually an extremely dark, slow paced drama, with some ludicrous scenes thrown in to try and create tension that simply does not exist. 

An example of this is when Nina visits the ex-prima ballerina in hospital.  Loud 'Swan Lake' music plays as she lifts the sheet, inch by inch, to look at the ballerina's legs, which she already knows are damaged.  The music gets louder and louder until she sees some bleeding cuts and then she runs out, accompanied by a musical crescendo.  This scene contributes nothing to the story and only serves to illuminate how lame the writing really is. 

Black Swan Movie Trailer

Watch the Official "Black Swan" movie trailer from Hulu. Click on the white triangle to start the movie. Black Swan is a thriller that hones in on the relationship between a veteran ballet dancer and a rival.

Much of what happens lacks logic.  Nina's mother initially suffocates, then sabotages, then she's supportive.  At one stage Nina appears to have been sexually liberated but later this is contradicted.

She is initially neurotic, possibly self-harming and then becomes psychotic, but it's never clear what has really happened to her and what she has imagined happened.  But the most unenjoyable aspect of this film is Nina herself.  She is eternally miserable, subservient, fearful and usually on the verge of/in tears.  Even when she is made the prima ballerina she is angst-ridden and weepy and it makes you wonder how she'd have reacted if she had won the lottery. Not with joy, for sure.

The greatest director in the world can't save a bad script, but Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan's director, could have at least got Nina to crack a smile once in a while, and not picking up on something this obvious shows a complete lack of perception.

Aronofsky also directed the brilliantly written and performed Wrestler, which brings his contribution into question and also questions how over rated  directors really are.  Perhaps if the entertainment industry were to stop spelling their title with a capital 'D' , they might not all be quite so puffed up.

Miv Evans is a British businesswoman who relocated to Los Angeles in 2005. She previously had a comedy drama commissioned by BBC TV and sold her first film to REN Media International in 2008 which she wrote, directed and produced.

International Film Release Dates

USA: 3 December 2010
13 January 2011
20 January 2011
21 January 2011
21 January 2011
28 January 2011
17 February 2011
23 February 2011
24 February 2011
24 February 2011
25 February 2011
2 March 2011
11 March 2011

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