Black Swan Review

Controlled. Precise. Perfect.

I’m in awe.
Black Swan throws so much at you with its layers of symbolism, psychosexual metaphors, and rich thematic undertones.  I lost myself in Matthew Libatique’s gorgeous cinematography, Clint Mansell rich score, and Natalie Portman’s phenomenal performance.  I wanted to pick apart and analyze Black Swan but director Darren Aronofsky had to go and create another brilliant movie that I wanted to see again as soon as the end credits began to roll.
Libatique’s camera not only dances and glides with the performers, but adds a strong sense of realism to the first half of the film so that when Nina really goes off the deep end, you’re completely enchanted and captivated by her unhinged reality.  The inspired cinematography manages to craft a visual presentation that is both instant and ethereal.
Adding to the rich tapestry is composer Clint Mansell’s gorgeous spin off Tchaikovsky’s music for Swan Lake.  I’ve never seen Swan Lake so I don’t know the depth of the musical cues, but Mansell twists an inspired score that exhilarates, terrifies, and helps brings the viewer even deeper into Nina’s madness.
Aronofsky has dreamed a beautiful nightmare with Black Swan.  Like its protagonist, the film is technically magnificent yet knows when to unravel and embrace a glorious madness.  It’s an unforgettable thriller that demands repeat viewings as you want to fall further into Nina’s dark and uncontrolled universe.
I’m in awe of this movie, of the way that it lays out its themes and story right up front as Thomas describes the story of Swan Lake and yet never feels predictable. I’m in awe of the way the film truly horrifies, in the most true sense of the word, and the way it rattles you deep inside. I’m in awe of the way the movie ends. Aronofksy has always been one of the filmmakers who best blends genre and art, because he loves both, and he blends them perfectly here. It’s a story of the madness behind creation, the madness behind beauty and the destruction inborn in art. And the more destructive the art is to the artist, Black Swan says, the more true and honest and blissful that art is.


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