Most of us can name a fair number of American composers – Aaron Copland, George Gershwin, Leonard Bernstein, John Williams. All have written great music which has become part of the musical landscape. How about these composers? Nico Muhly, Amy Wurtz, Michael Daugherty, Augusta Read Thomas and Joan Tower? Possibly not so familiar.That will [...]
Film Review: Black Swan
Listen to the Story
Starring: Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel, Barbara Hershey, and Winona Ryder
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Rating: R for for strong sexual content, disturbing violent images, language and some drug use
Runtime: 1 hour 50 minutes
Rico: Pay attention to the MPAA ‘R’ rating; This is a caution for all those youngsters studying ballet and their parents.
Joyce: Boy, is this not a beautiful dance film, as one would suspect. It’s a supernatural thriller set in the world of New York City ballet. No little dancers should see this enigmatic film.
Rico: “The Black Swan” is about a ballerina (Natalie Portman) who finds herself in a tense situation with a rival (Mila Kunis) and her ballet master/director of the company, played by Vincent Cassel. Cassel is usually cast as a villain, and is here, as well.
Joyce: In this film, you canâ€™t be sure about what you are seeing. This veteran ballerina, played brilliantly by Portman, has severe mental problems, including hallucinations, so youâ€™re not sure what is real or unreal.
Rico: Itâ€™s interesting to note that Portman did most of her own dancing on film.
Joyce: The cast is excellent, with totally believable performances by Cassel and Barbara Hershey, the lead’s demanding and overpowering mother.
Rico: If youâ€™re looking for a behind-the-scenes view of Swan Lake,Â youâ€™ll probably be disappointed. This is a story about the difficulties demanded of a prima ballerina.
Joyce: This was definitely hard to watch for me. Though very well done, I would never choose to see it a second time. ***1/2
Rico: It’s a tough film to watch, but Iâ€™ll still give itÂ ***1/2.