Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Black Swan (film)

We braved the freezing wind and zero temperature and walked to the Wells Film Centre this afternoon, orginally to see The King's Speech. But, Satuday and all that, it was sold out. So we opted instead for The Black Swan.

Now all the bleating from the ballet "community" about how this film bad-mouths behind-the-scenes goings-on in their art is ridiculous. The film is about an immature 28 year old ballerina Nina who is an OCD perfectionist but dances from the head, not from the heart. In her new top role as the Swan Queen (in Swan Lake) she is required to dance the part of the black swan, a seductive temptress, as well as the virginal princess white swan.

Nina can, of course, do white swans with her eyes shut, but letting her emotional side hang-out seems beyond her. Under a combination of the stress, the well-meaning efforts of her friends to help her loosen up and some slipped drugs, she starts to crack up.

The film starts puzzling, then it flips a few red herrings to mislead you it's going to follow the usual shop-worn cliches, then the tension ratchets up and it all gets totally surreal.

We enjoyed it.

* In reviews, some fuss has been made about explicit sex and drug use. Relax: it's not that explicit and no horses were frightened in the viewing of this film.

** We're down to see The King's Speech later in the week.