Black Swan

by T.A. ’13

Portman stars as a ballet dancer in one of the biggest movies of 2010 – the
critically and highly acclaimed film Black Swan. Billed as a
psychosexual thriller, the movie combines reality and fantasy to create a very
artistic piece of work. Especially praised for their performances were lead
actress Portman, who plays the character of Nina, and supporting actress Mila
Kunis, who plays Lily, a rival dancer and Nina’s alter ego.

the film definitely had its high points, it was very disappointing to see the
subject matter portrayed as radically hyper-sexualized. Lily’s seduction and
eroticism are constantly juxtaposed against Nina’s more reserved demeanor,
which the ballet director constantly tells Nina to abandon. Throughout the film
Nina is told to be more sexual, more sensuous, and more seductive. Lily and
Nina go out to a bar where they pick up two guys, and Nina returns home
(blasted drunk) boasting to her mother that she slept with them. In one scene,
Nina and the director are in his house, where he asks if she is a virgin. She
insists that she isn’t, to which the director replies, “Well then there’s
nothing to be ashamed of.”

am not ashamed to admit that on at least four separate occasions, I closed my
eyes in the theatre because the sexual nature of the film was obscenely
graphic. Nina is shown masturbating multiple times, and in one particularly
disturbing scene she engages in a sexual act with Lily. It speaks volumes about
the callous attitude our culture has towards sex for such acts to be shown on

shocking and the sensational have increasingly become a staple of the media,
but this film unabashedly overstepped even existing boundaries. While I felt
that the story was in general well told and the acting was in general good, it
became very difficult to enjoy the film given the perverse attitudes it took
towards sex and sexuality. It is disappointing that Kunis and Portman (no doubt
actresses capable of acting well) must receive their first Golden Globe (and,
probably Oscar) nominations for such a disappointing film.


One thought on “Black Swan

  1. Not yet seen this movie. But heard lot applause about it and now oscar to Natali forcing me to watch this movie.

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