Friday, December 10, 2010

'Black Swan'

Tom Carson at GQ reviews 'Black Swan':

Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan is the Rorschach-blot movie of the year.

For those of us who love the damn thing, watching Aronofsky's uptight heroine lose her marbles under the strain of preparing to wow New York's tux mob in Swan Lake is definitely an experience. We just can't agree on what kind, since the two very different movies that fans come out raving about—the wrenching one that exalts Portman's Nina and the sensational black comedy that's all wised up about her hysteria's provocations—are both on the screen. So is a lot of kink, given that one bright way our gal acts out her derangement is to either have or imagine having frantic, druggy sex with smokin' Mila Kunis, who plays an uninhibited fellow dancer representing everything she's not. If you prurient bastards think that's the only scene that'll rivet you, though, you don't know Aronofsky: He's got kinks in places where most people don't even have opinions.

The perverse brilliance of Black Swan's twist on the florid romanticism of traditional Capezio epics isn't just Aronofsky's equation of talent with psychosis. It's in the dawning recognition that he digs ballet for the spectacle at about the level Hitchcock was interested in what Norman Bates's mother was really like.

The movie is probably going to be de rigueur for fans of psych-thrillers. Nice illustration, nice writing. Worth a read.

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