Thursday, January 20, 2011

Black Swan and Moon

Black Swan 
Thomas Leroy: That was me seducing you. It needs to be the other way around. 
Black Swan, as everyone probably knows, is about Nina (Natalie Portman), a ballet dancer who is cast as the swan princess in Swan Lake and subsequently loses it as she has a hard time mastering the role of the black swan, the evil twin of the swan princess.  I finally saw Black Swan in theaters last Sunday night and it was a treat, even despite how it's been massively parodied by SNL and others.  Black Swan is creepy and disturbing- not a good idea to see it at night if you get scared easily like I do.  I can think of a few scenes, in particular the second hospital scene and this other scene when Nina, post freaking out, buckles at the knees- her legs at odd, distorted angles that just haunt you for a long while afterwards.  

That being said though, the performances really make the movie.  I'm not a big Natalie Portman fan at all.  I've never been terribly impressed by her performances in any of her movies, not even in Closer, which she was nominated for an Oscar, but I absolutely loved her in "Black Swan."  I remember reading a review somewhere about how you really end up rooting for Nina, wanting her to succeed so badly throughout the movie, and I think that's absolutely true.  Nina is shy and dedicated and within the first few minutes of the movie- you're hooked, you want her to succeed b/c she works so hard and she deserves it.  It is an insanely charismatic performance.  Mila Kunis, Lily as Nina's main rival, is also fantastic- Lilly is laid back and sexually unrestrained and completely comfortable with who she is.  Also, despite how sleezy Thomas (Vincent Cassel), the ballet company's creative director, is (I mean come on, "To prepare for the role you should go touch yourself etc etc"), somehow, probably b/c he provides some humorous lines to the otherwise very claustrophobic movie, is still entertaining and moderately likable.  Overall, great movie but I actually would say that you don't really need to see this movie in theaters (gritty resolution)- hold off and wait for it to come in netflix form.  


I finally got around to seeing this movie, which I kept hearing lots of good things about.  Moon is about Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell), a very lonely worker on the moon base who is going to go home soon from his three year contract.  Moon is a very neatly constructed film and Sam Rockwell is really captivating, carrying the movie mostly on his own with some help from the moon base robot GERTY.  Moon is a pretty clever movie- I like how they nonchalantly they introduced the main conflict in the movie and that the main conflict as well as the way they deal with it isn't what you were expecting at all- and that's all I feel like I can say without spoiling it for anyone.  One of the plot threads, I have to say- it was pretty obvious where they were going with it, but I did enjoy the questions of identity that Moon raises.  It's definitely worth a watch and pretty impressive given it's very low budget.  For scenes outside of the moon base, the graphics seem a little unreal and skimmed, but everything else inside the base looks great.   

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