The Black Swan: Happy Mother's Day
My review of The Black Swan is appropriately schizophrenic-- I watched the movie in two parts and I found the first hour grueling and painful-- the plot is typical sports melodrama (the meek but hardworking underdog gets her chance to shine) and typical sports melodrama is the only melodrama that gets to me emotionally (Hoosiers, Rudy, King of Kong, Rocky, etc.), and so I was really rooting for Natalie Portman's character, hoping that her hard work and dedication to her sport would pay off (the images and sounds of her battered feet really got to me, maybe because I've been playing soccer with a broken toe the past couple of weeks and can empathize) and so Nina's complete lack of joy for her art-- her obsessiveness and isolation and her mental disintegration-- was really depressing (unlike Aronofsky's The Wrestler, which is also a depressing sports movie, but Mickey Rourke and Marisa Tomei are disintegrating physically, and that's never as bad as disintegrating mentally, and in the end The Wrestler feels oddly triumphant as each character learns to cope with their physical decay) but I got over the hump in the second half of The Black Swan . . . I learned to "stop worrying and love the bomb" . . . and enjoy how the film turns the corner and becomes a full fledged horror film (and Portman turns into a full-fledged black swan) so if you're watching the movie and you want to quit, stick with it until it gets really macabre . . . and maybe you can explain to me exactly what happens to Winona Ryder's character in the hospital (enjoy the cheesy irony of Winona Ryder chastising Portman for filching her stuff) and though it almost needs two separate ratings for the two halves, I'll average it out to 8 tutus out of a possible 10.