Ooh, a blog entry about Black Swan. But I gotta write about something. Hey, spoiler warning!

So yeah, I finally saw it. And it gave me nightmares. Nightmares where I had written a script that was really dark and gritty and parallel to a classic work, but in the end was just a bunch of stuff that happened. So I guess it must have been a good movie, to affect me that much, eh?

I guess what bothered me the most was that there never was a clear indication of what was real and what was hallucination. Which is weird since usually I’m all about the ambiguity. I have a whole box of it over there. But somehow it was ultimately unsatisfying in this case.

But first things earlier. If it’s supposed to be a descent into madness, I’m not understanding why the cinematography is gritty (grainy) and unstable (handheld) and dark (dark) from the first frame. And oppressively depressing throughout. Even Whedon throws in a light moment now and then, ferchrissake. Anyway, it didn’t feel so much like an arc as a short hypotenuse.

Portman is getting raves for her acting, and it is impressive. But in a bit of irksome self-reference, it’s too technical. I see the moments affecting her, but not a depth to explain her disorder. We got a Van Halen solo, and I was looking for Zappa.

The real killer for me was the failure of the payoff. Again, what really happened? She didn’t kill Lily, obviously. Did she kill herself? No. No no, a thousand times no. You don’t dance an entire act of ballet with a 2″ shard of glass in your belly. You don’t dance at all with something like that. Not to mention the blood appearing, disappearing, and reappearing on her costume. So, if her big death scene is just hallucination, the whole story becomes a bit of a so what? (And if it’s supposed to be real then at least I know a director never to watch again.)

Good movie, could have been great.

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