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Tuesday, 1 February 2011

I Saw: Black Swan

Darren Aronofsky's latest film is an ode to fear; fear of the body, sex, relationships and not being perfect. Natalie Portman's Nina is icy and beautiful but lives in fear and pain, her mental health deteriorates as her pain and fear increases driven by a controlling mother.

At points the characters are superficial and clich├ęd, for example Lily - Mila Kunis - shows that she is a sexually liberated character by wearing her hair down during training sessions and Nina's extensive collection of infantile stuffed toys serves to show us her sexual repression. However, the claustrophobic shots of the New York interiors and the closeup camera movements during the hallucination sequences draw the spectator to the inner breakdown of the dancer's mind.

I missed the punch packed by Pi (1998) and Requiem for a Dream (2000) Aronofsky seems to want to create a film somewhat more glossy and attractive to a larger audience both in Black Swan and his previous film The Wrestler (2008).

Pulling punches and attracting larger audiences at the same time is a tall order.

One to watch.

Miss de Castro

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