It's been around year now since the movie Black Swan was released so I imagine most of you have watched it. I watched it again this weekend and I have to say I think it's one of the best movies I've seen in a long time. Dark and disturbing it is, but it's also cinematographically beautiful. I was so inspired that I decided to write a post about it.
For those of you who've never seen it, I'll give you the lowdown.
I guess you'd describe it as a psychological thriller. It's about a well known New York ballet company who are putting on a production of Tchaikovsky's famous Swan Lake. The protagonist Nina (played by Natalie Portman) is determined to get the role of the swan, playing both the innocent White Swan and the seductive Black Swan. She finds that she has to appeal to the director and turn to her dark side to get the role, competing against Lily (played by Mila Kunis).
Once Nina gets the part, she embarks on a dark journey of self discovery, battling with inner conflicts, a difficult relationship with her very controlling ex-ballerina mother and feeling a constant pressure to be the best and keep off the competition from her understudy Lily. She starves herself, rebels and essentially descends into madness, experiencing some very intense visual hallucinations. At some points, you don't know what is true or Nina's mind playing tricks on her. It's a very powerful, evocative piece of cinema. There's also a very raunchy encounter between Milan Kunis and Natalie Portman (which explains why a lot of guys have seen the film ).
Natalie Portman's performance in the film was outstanding. She definitely deserved the Oscar as Best Actress. Apparently both her and Milan Kunis trained in ballet for quite a few months before filming started and it certainly paid off as they appear as graceful and dainty as the real thing.
Another great aspect of the film is the costumes. Fashion designer Rodarte collaborated on some of the main looks. In fact the entire fashion world went Black Swan crazy following the film and many designers took inspiration from it in their collections - think lashings of tulle, lace, leggings and tutu style skirts and dresses. The costumes that Natalie Portman wears to play both the Black Swan and the White Swan are stunning. I love her eye make up too.
It makes me want to take up ballet... if only I was more coordinated.
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