Black Swan Downer

Director Darren Aronofsky makes complicated movies. Pi, Requiem For a Dream and The Wrestler were visually arresting. All told stories that captured your attention as they showed you characters you could imagine if you had not already met them in your life.

Then there’s Black Swan. I saw this last night in a packed art house movie theater. People laughed. Not nervous laughter as they watched Natalie Portman’s ballet dancer Nina pull her skin off. No, they laughed at Nina, and at her situation.

Black Swan is replete with one-dimensional characters. Mickey Rourke’s wrestler was already past his prime but you rooted for him. Nina is on her way to stardom and sometimes you don’t give a damn and sometimes you root for her supposed rival for the role of Swan Lake’s Queen Swan role, Lily.

Viewers have to care about the character in a horror film or at least root for the horrible stalker to commit gruesome acts. There is nothing like that here.

The camera movement is as inventive as ever. There is the requisite cgi. Still to what end? How I wished some of the twists to the story would have become the main arc. Geez, make them lesbian lovers at least so the competition takes on an extra dimension!

Mila Kunas’s Lily has life. She is joyful, fun, and about as thought provoking as any of the characters in the movie. What a way for Wyona Rider to make a comeback.

The movie is filled with stereotypes about the dance world. From the Casanova ballet company manager to bitchy dancers, it is all there to bore one to death.

Rotten Tomatoes collection of critics gives the movie an 87 percent positive rating. Audiences give it a 91 percentage. Go see it, see where you fall.


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