Thursday, 23 December 2010


Other than sneaking the odd general comment or noticing some early awards season love, I have avoided reviews of Black Swan and this has proved rewarding. Whilst technically near-perfect, the real splendour of Black Swan is in it's celebration of the emotional ebbs and flows which art can create and develop, and how both cinema and it's audience feeds off such experiences.

Director Darren Aronofky is proving to be a consistently strong auteur and a master of casting. Although a casting cliche, there are actually few roles where an actor makes a role their own and where one couldn't imagine another actor presenting an alternate version of the character in question. This isn't necessarily a bad thing but often the iconic roles in cinema are as much about the nailed on casting as the performance itself. The story of the casting of Mickey Rourke in Aronofsky's previous feature, The Wrestler is already renowned and whether there is a comparable backstory or not, Natalie Portman's ballerina is her iconic role, like Rourke's wrestler, Bill Murray's actor in Lost in Translation, Anthony Hopkins' cannibal etc. Aronofsky is greatly interested and understands the vital importance of pacing and in such occupations as wrestling and dancing, timing and pace are everything. Black Swan gathers your attention and takes it to magical places only cinema ever could.


  1. Great! Can't wait to see it.

    Merry Christmas!

  2. Yeah, this is Portman's role for sure. I never saw her as a great actress (good, but lacking some oomf!). This performance was superb.

  3. Happy belated Christmas and New Year Alex - hope you had a good one chap!

    Yeah, I'd agree Edgar - I'm still unsure she will be one of the greats but this role is perfect for her skinny frame and innocent personality.

  4. I hope Natty does something superior eventually but I know she probably won't haha.
    I always felt her Alice from "Closer" was very bland.

  5. I quite liked her Closer performance - if her stripper character was a little 'bland', perhaps that was more the writer or director's choice?