Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
Black Swan (2010)
Psychologically and philosophically surreal
My most favorite film of the year. Top notch acting by Ms. Portman and the supporting cast. Excellent directing by Mr. Aronofsky. Good editing (sound and picture wise). Good cinematography. From the very first frame I was hooked. Prior to this I had only seen THE WRESTLER. When I saw that, I knew that Mr. Aronofsky was a force to reckoned with.
Reminiscent to THE WRESTLER, BLACK SWAN explores the world of a performing art that is (in its own way) rough, mean, and demanding of both body and mind. Another echo from WRESTLER, is obsession. Of course the last echo I'll note is the first person storytelling. Imparitcular by way of the use of the steadicam walking behind our protagonist.
Unlike WRESTLER, SWAN is a surreal mix of reality and hallucination. "...is this the real life? Is this just fantasy..." (Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody). So this leaves us to de-cipher the character for ourselves. So yes, Nina is more of a cipher versus Ram.
Now to analyze the character of Nina. Like Ram (from WRESTLER), she is in a performing art that challenges her mentally and physically. Both have "personal" lives are in shambles because of their dedication to professions. Both have a challenge to overcome.
Ram's obstacle was his age and worn body. Nina's was her body being pushed to limits, her mind being pushed, her wanting for acceptance, and (what leads to my view of the theme), needing to break out of her shell to be at peace, so to speak.
I believe that the film's over all theme is breaking out of one's shell. Nina lives a very sheltered, restricted life. Just looking at her bedroom and seeing how she and her mother interact, you can tell that she lives some kind life where she can't seem to break away from her childhood. I'd like to note how well Nina's past is well explained by imagery. Upon getting the role of Queen Swan, does she embark on her journey.
Like THE WRESTLER, Ram's character echoed Mr. Rourke's career as a kind of comeback to a given profession. With that is mind, Ms. Portman is in a role that is really her big breakout leading role as an adult. So Nina's journey from child to woman on the stage can more or less mimic Ms. Portman's move from renowned child actress to accomplished leading lady. Also like the Swan Queen, Nina in herself found to be very schizophrenic.
The supporting cast is also very crucial in this story. Vincent Cassel gave a very convincing performance of the production director. Maybe he's a metaphor for some director. Mila Kunis has indeed come a long way since That 70's show and Family Guy. Her role was just beyond words. Since she was viewed by Nina, her role was also schizophrenic, as was Ms. Hershey's role. It's hard to say whether Nina's mother was just doting or overbearing. This can be open to interpretation.
In all of Mr. Aronofsky's vision I myself sense influence from Alfred Hithcock, Stanley Kubrick, Brian DePalma, and (to a degree), David Cronenberg. If this is in fact the case, Mr. Aronofsky, you have good taste.
One last thing I'd to interpret is that I think this film can serve as a metaphor for the dark side of vanity. Nowadays to be well known equals up to vanity. I sometimes wonder how far some people take their vanity and if it's all worth it in the end.
So to wrap this up, I highly recommend this film to anyone with an open mind to pick up on all the metaphors and philosophies and drawn your own conclusions. Like I said before, I think the overall theme is breaking out of one's shell. Do what it takes even if it means breaking through your oneself. The old saying is that we are our own worst enemy.
No Country for Old Men (2007)
This was just a hands down great film. I and others in the theater were on the edges of our seats For me it was an action packed, suspenseful western, by way of the Coen Brothers. The acting from everybody was down to a T. Javier Bardem, he just immersed himself into cool but crazed hit-man. What this movie does that very few others do is leaves the audience to fill in the blanks for themselves. Instead of giving the audience all of the answers and wrapping it up, it leaves the audience to draw their own conclusions of the mysteries within. I personally recommend Javier Bardem for Best Supporting Actor. Tommy Lee Jones and Josh Brolin were no slouches either. This is going to be a favorite at the Academy Awards. Hey, if the Coen Brothers win best director, that would be a first in the Academy history, two brothers earning Best Director.