Archive for January, 2011

Black Swan – Darren Aronofsky

Ok, this one doesn’t really count; I saw it while getting drunk alongside funny and sharp minded people, not getting very drunk, just chic drunk. So, maybe my perception was altered, but as far as I can remember, and I remember the whole evening pretty clearly, watching Black Swan wasn’t the peak of the night.

They say that in vino veritas, so maybe there is some truth in this writing, therefore, I think it counts.

Darren Aronofsky serves us clichés upon clichés, not too crowded though, the viewer can have plenty of time getting bored with good actors wasting their talents posing like ballet dancers, not while ballet dancing but while performing their parts, exchanging flat lines that can hardly put a tension in a scene. That seemed pretty ridiculous and always called for a new sip.

We have the story of a very technical ballerina, Nina (Natalie Portman), suffocated by an overprotective mother, wanting desperately (don’t all ballerinas do?) to play the leading part in the Swan Lake. The problem for Nina is, that Thomas (Vincent Cassel), the director and choreographer of the Swan Lake, wants one dancer for two roles: the white swan and the black swan.

Searching for the passion in dancing which she seems to lack; Nina discovers the possibilities to play the black swan. Well, actually, she is not really in the search of the passion for the black swan’s part. The black swan within her, her dark side is searching for her and that is the thrilling part of the script. On the other hand it reminded me of my pigeon growing his mature feathers. Painful process, folks! Oh, and Thomas’s motivational tricks he pulls on Nina are hilarious. Poor Vincent, delivering those lines, a must see!

This is about a trip into the horrifying drama of psychological problems that involve paranoia, delusions and hallucinations. Not a good mixture for a boozing audience but not a bad idea. It is actually a good idea but the outcome is as shallow as the clichés on ballerinas, shallow as clichés in general.

Natalie Portman does not save the film but she saves herself. Not a bad performance on a poor character. Good for her. The rest of the casting, great as it is, has no efficient tools at disposal to save, at least, themselves.

In conclusion, Black Swan is the perfect film to sharpen your claws on. Don’t watch it alone, you will definitely need to share your cynicism.

You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger – Woody Allen

The meaninglessness of human suffering, the embarrassment of weaknesses, cowardice, the delirium of a dream come true were and always will be perfect themes for perfect works of art or for humiliating artistic failures. This time the master of doubts, illusions and betrayals, Woody Allen, delivers a limp interpretation of what actually is the core of his entire work that can and it is expressed by a quote from Shakespeare: “Life’s (…) full of sound and fury, signifying nothing”.

This quote opens and ends Allen’s latest work: “You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger”. And it is an opening that makes us sit back and expect him, Allen, to tell us again the same story about hopelessness’, confusion, betrayal and illusion with his always refreshing cynical yet merciful approach.

The characters are treated with cruelty; the young ones are definitely the director’s favorite victims. Their destinies are left hanging on the edge of their nightmares’ cliff weather is about their professional life or their personal life. The old ones are treated with mercy, yet they’re not rendered happy in the end. They seem more like delusional and actually more connected to the afterlife than to real life. Anyway, all the characters have pretty interesting stories; all the conflicts are dramatic, absurd and filled with lessons for everybody.

But this bountiful screenplay chokes on its own bouquet of flavors. Somehow it is harder than ever to connect with any of Allen’s characters. Is it maybe because they’re too many? That shouldn’t be a problem for a director of his allure. Maybe it is because there is no real focus on anyone? That it is just another technical issue that shouldn’t necessarily kill a story.

I think the main problem is that this movie was meant to be a comedy but the ingredients that make a comedy were left out or not sufficiently used. There is no real opportunity for a good laugh and that’s the saddest thought I ever had about Woody Allen, ever.

Another horrifying feeling I had watching this film is that Woody Allen is tired of his own wit, that he has no patience to tell his own story, that he is in a hurry, that making this film he was rather fulfilling his needs as a workaholic than the urge of the artist.

This is junk entertainment and it is not even entertaining.

It’s junk when all the good scenes are in the trailer!

Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: