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Movie Review: ‘Black Swan’

Natalie Portman & Mila Kunis Lesbian Kiss from...
Image by LesMedia via Flickr

12/1/2010- by Natasia Langfelder

Black Swan starring Natalie Portman is set to be released this Friday. There has been a lot of buzz around the film, both for the potential of Portman to win an Oscar for it and for the lesbian sex scene between Portman and the incredibly attractive Mila Kunis.

You know who’s hot? Mila Kunis. You know what’s hot? The lesbian sex scene in this movie. Wow, it’s really really hot. As in, I would probably watch the film all over again to see the sex scene again…even though it’s only about 10 seconds long and it’s just sex ladies;  (Mild Spoiler Alert) there is no romantic relationship between the leads and there are no lesbians in the film at all. Put that completely out of your romantic mind. So basically, even though I would sit through the movie again for that, you should probably think about whether or not you want to.

The movie is being marketed as a “psychological thriller” where Portman plays “Nina,” a “featured dancer who finds herself locked in a web of competitive intrigue with a new rival at the company,” played by Mila Kunis. I think the “rival” character is named Lily. But she’s actually not a huge part of the film. The star of the film is Portman and the intricate workings of her character’s obsessive psyche. The camera loves Portman. Three fourths of the film consists of close ups of Portman’s beautiful face: now she looks obsessive, now she looks intense, now she looks surprised, now she looks horrified, now scared, now horny, now jealous, etc. Basically, if you are a Portman fan, this is film for you. The director, Darren Aronofsky, does a great job capturing the beauty of ballet dancers, their fragility and their strength. No one who sees this film will be able to walk away and say that ballet is “boring” ever again.

While the film is being marketed as a psychological thriller, it actually comes off more as a horror film. I would compare it to Nicole Kidman’s “The Others,” Jennifer Connelly’s “Dark Water,” or Sarah Michelle Gellar’s “The Grudge.” (Yes, I tag films by their leading actresses, not their directors. Deal with it. Women are the part of movies I pay attention too.) I don’t want to give too much of the film away, but you won’t want to eat dinner afterwards…or beforehand.   

Winona Ryder also makes an appearance in the film as an aging ballerina. I just want to clear that up for you now so you don’t spend 10 minutes trying to figure out whether or not that is Winona Ryder every time she pops up in the film.  Ummm…not that I did that. At all.

The best part of the film is how different it is than any other movie that is in the theaters right now. It isn’t recycled Hollywood tripe. However, for those of us that are more schooled in the art of obscure films, Black Swan might come off as a weaker offering. Personally, if I was going to rewrite the movie, I would have the uptight, obsessive Nina fall in love with the freespirited Lily and ride off into the sunset. That’s not what happens here, but it’s still worth a viewing. Whether you see it in the theaters or put it on your Netflix queue should really depend upon how crazy you are about Natalie Portman. Can’t decide? Maybe the music video below will help!

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One Response to Movie Review: ‘Black Swan’

  1. Melanie Nathan

    December 1, 2010 at 11:57 am

    Okay on Music Video Only this is Oscar stuff – the acitng-and beats out Kids Are alright!! RIGHT? Wonder if controversy will get it hijacked? Nice work Nat!