I saw Black Swan last night. Here's how it went.
(BEWARE. SPOILERZ AHOY.)
(BEWARE. SPOILERZ AHOY.)
me: This is my third attempt to see Black Swan. I swear to Woden that if the sleet makes that impossible, I'll commandeer a biplane and stab some clouds.
(Lightning strikes, an old hag cackles. Little do I know how true that will be. Or, at least, the bi part, the stab part, and the fluffy white thing part...)
my friend: Yay! Girl movie!
me: Um... the word I hear most associated with it is "mindf*ck".
my friend: And... ballet? And bulimia?
me: No. Mostly just mindf*ck.
Here are my thoughts:
1. Wow, she's thin. Like, skeletal. And she spends half the movie barfing, or trying to barf. I'm caught-- part of me feels like an elephant comparitively, the other part wants to eat a hamburger on her behalf.
2. Yay! She's got Morgellon's! There's more crap coming out of this chick's skin than that guy in Hellraiser, and Hellraiser made a hell of a lot more sense.
3. Okay, so in order to accept his movie's set-up, I have to believe that a 28-year old bulimic ballerina who lives with her mother in a pink bedroom with no lock and has no friends would already be not crazy. And I'm not buying it.
4. WAIT. He's kissing her. And she bit the crap out of him? That didn't happen in Centerstage! Surely egomaniacal ballet directors aren't all taking advantage of their innocent ingenue proteges.
5. Okay, my knowledge of ballet comes from 3 years of classes before they told me my body was all wrong (which feels great when you're 8, by the way), followed by 300 viewings of Centerstage. But there's no way I would have chosen this chick as the Swan Queen. Every second that she's dancing, she looks like she's fighting off a case of the runs while listening to Radiohead's experimental albums. In pain. And confused.
6. Who viciously cuts their fingernails with scissors? I can't watch!
7. Who stabs people with fingernail files? I can't watch!
8. Who makes out with strangers at clubs while on ecstasy? I can't watch?
9. Wait, what's she doing with Mila Kunis?
10. WAIT, WHAT???
11. Uh. That was different. You know, in one way, it's weird to think about Padme Amidala making out with Meg from The Family Guy.
12. You know what would be totally ironic? If Hayden Christiansen was in this movie, just sitting around in pajamas while Natalie Portman went all crazy-pants and turned into Swan Vader.
13. I'm totally going to be a Black Swan for Halloween. I'll do the makeup, the black crown, the tutu.
14. And a shirt that says "Hack Swan". Or maybe "Demon Goose". Or maybe "Future Foie Gras of Doom".
15. OMG. What's real? What's false? Surely the filmmaker understands how confusing this is! I can't tell if... oh. She's having a psychotic break and taking us along for the joyride. I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE.
16. Credits. We sit there. Stunned.
my friend: ...
me: I know, right?
my friend: MY DAUGHTER IS NOT TAKING BALLET ANY MORE.
me: Taking ballet is okay. The ballet wasn't the problem. It was the mom and the never eating.
my friend: Yeah. No.
me: P.S. I'm getting you a nail file for your birthday.
I enjoyed it. Black Swan was definitely the most different movie I've seen in a while. It was visually intriguing and kept the viewer thinking.
My biggest complaint? The take-home message, to me, was that in order for an artist to access their dark side and passion and reach their true potential, they have to be self-destructive and/or suicidal. And I don't think that's true.
I could blather on and on about naivete, maturity, growing stronger from pain, welcoming one's dark side, and finding balance as a human being. But you know what? That sounds like one boring movie to me.
It was an interesting story, and it makes people think, and that's a good thing.
You win, Black Swan.
And now I'm having another bowl of cereal, because I don't want to get too hungry and start peeling my fingers like bananas.