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Black Swan (2010; Rated Rated R)

Black Swan
B-
 

“Impressive and at times terrifying, but ultimately it's polished camp.”

-Richard Roeper

Black Swan Review

Black Swan

(2010; R)

In theaters:
Friday, 3 December 2010

Genre:
Drama, Musical, Romance, Thriller

Cast:
Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Barbara Hershey

COMMENTS(21)
 
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Jay R said on Wednesday, June 29, 2011 12:47:47 AM
I totally agree with your assessment on Black Swan. I thought it was overrated and it felt like an art house movie which means it was not successful in its suspension of disbelief. True Grit was a far better movie and as good as Natalie Portman was, I thought Haley Steinfeld was robbed. It's the mental/physical illness/disability bias the academy has in its selection of best actors. If there is an actor that portrays an affliction, the Academy almost always favors that actor b/c they display such "range". Ms. Steinfeld's delivery of an array of complex dialogue was masterful. She was impeccable. Maybe if her character lost her arm in the beginning of the movie, she may have won her Oscar.

Jacob Thorley said on Saturday, May 14, 2011 3:08:34 PM
I'll say that I had very high expectations for this movie and was slightly let down by all the reasons mentioned here. RR, I completely agree with B- as had I saw this review first, I might have known to chill out a little and not wait for the "WHY THIS IS SO GREAT" factor. That being said it was good and quite different at times, which I like, but I'm still not sure if it was worth the price of the Blu-Ray.

By the way, Natalie Portman did deserve her accolades for sure.

Sam said on Wednesday, March 30, 2011 12:06:36 AM
Just saw the movie. I've read a number of reviews, but this was the first one that I think got it about right (or, at least coincided with my general feelings about the movie).

Richard Roeper said on Monday, March 07, 2011 1:47:59 PM
To Tina:

Thanks for the advice. I know how to do research. Vincent Cassell's training has nothing to do with my opinion that the CHARACTER he's playing is a stock character, right out of the "A Chorus Line" and "Showgirls" playbook.

He's a fine actor. It's a cliched role.

Best,

RR

Tina Whifield said on Sunday, March 06, 2011 11:23:21 AM
@Richard, Vincent Cassel - a ballet star early in his life in Paris, surely is not "stock". Do your RESEARCH! The director was able to "sell" as a ballet movie - because of the real dance abilities of all involved.

Charles said on Sunday, February 13, 2011 2:11:24 AM
Roeper, the lasting impression the film left on me closely echoes your review. While I can't say for certain Aronofsky aimed for camp or not, there certainly is a probable element of purposeful bouyancy, so overtly melodramatic that logic and good will naturally point to it not being an accident. I disagree that it's masterfully crafted in terms of storytelling, I feel it's formulaic, polished and decorated with art house techniques familiar to the director's prior work (that's not to say technically unimpressive, ) that seem to beddazle some people, and direct their attention away from the fact that ultimately, it's just a good movie, elevated by Natalie Portman's performance. Also, I've heard comparisons between Inception and Black Swan before, and they never seem to get anywhere, mostly due to the fact that they seem to appeal to different people and in different ways. But for me, the truth is that be it in script-premise-technique-storytelling-etc. wise, Inception is a film that was much harder to make, and was successful, I think in more ways than it originally intended. There's also a ridiculous amount of scrutiny in Nolan's work that I feel has to be appreciated and recognized. B- for Black Swan, you cannot be more right Mr. Roeper.

josh said on Wednesday, January 26, 2011 12:36:36 PM
r u for real? just saw it and i still haven't landed... one of the best films i have ever seen

bbock said on Monday, January 17, 2011 3:40:57 AM
SPOILER: Okay, I decided to post my fix for this movie's script. Don't read this if you haven't seen the movie.

The writer should have killed the first scene where you see that she's kinda mentally unwell. He should have built suspense of this poor innocent young woman with the crazy mother, the domineering director, and the scheming rival. They sort of tried to do this, but it didn't work. She should find out things and suspect other things. For example, after the prima ballerina goes nuts she goes and steals her makeup and perfume. Maybe she begins to suspect that someone did something to the items, drugged them which sent the ballerina over the edge. In the scene where her rival gives her the mickey, she seems to acknowledge that she knows it's there by saying that it's just a few hours, right? And later her rival admits to spiking her drink. No! Make that part of the conspiracy. Maybe her mother had a relationship with the director. Maybe at the end a twist. Instead we know she's crazy early on and I guess it's supposed to be a portrait of a woman losing her mind. It would have been better if we weren't sure if she was losing her mind or if everyone really was out to get her. This should have been more like Shutter Island. Instead it's doled out too early.

adam said on Saturday, January 15, 2011 7:53:43 PM
Yea, I have to go with B minus as a bit generous here. I agree with every point Richard makes - yes, I felt manipulated too, ultimately no-longer caring and glad when the film was over. I find it interesting that this movie is getting really two reviews, one if you buy into the character, and one if you don't. Portman certainly will get a nomination here, and probably the Oscar, and her performance is worth the price of admission. But, it is not close to another film on the same idea, Polanski's Repulsion.

Mike said on Sunday, January 02, 2011 5:19:05 AM
I can't feel but Roeper is way off the mark with this one

 
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