Another Top 5 segment from The MacGuffin. This time Allen and Ed share their top 5 acts of redemption.
I’m sure that most readers of this film blog hoped that Father Christmas would have delivered at least one DVD to them for the 25th of December. A few may have gone to the cinema on Christmas day, watching the latest release as part of their celebrations. At home, over the holiday season, many enjoy the luxury of being able to sit in front of the TV without guilt. To watch a film from start to finish without moving—reaching for a chocy brazil or a different treat before another begins—is, presumably, quite a common routine. But what to make of this passive digestion of the film in front of us?
In his latest film, director Darren Aronofsky (Pi, Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain, and The Wrestler) creates a psychoactive, sexual thriller that, like his previous films, taps into the raw emotion of human obsession. Black Swan tells the story of Nina Sayers (Natalie Portman), a ballerina who lives with her aging ballerina mother, Erica (Barbara Hershey). Nina dances for a New York City ballet company and gets her big shot as the lead in a new rendition of Swan Lake, a role that requires her to play both the good White Swan, and the bad Black Swan. Unfortunately for Nina, her natural disposition is that of the White—timid, socially awkward, and sexually repressed—while the Black seems to be embodied by a new dancer who’s just moved from San Francisco, Lily (Mila Kunis), who’s seductive, carefree, and assertive. The director of the ballet company, Thomas Leroy (Vincent Cassel), is a nudging guide, urging Nina to let go and explore the Black Swan inside, using Lily as example. Nina begins an obsession with Lily that leads to her exploration of her own sexual repression, but quickly turns to paranoia and rivalry. Striving for technical perfection, the extents to which Nina will go in order to embody the Black Swan send her into a state of existence she’s never known before.