Went to see Darren Aronofsky’s latest tale of emotional collapse & insular paranoia BLACK SWAN the other night. Much to my disappointment Natalie Portman aka Nina the cripplingly timid cocooned & pampered mummy’s sweeet girl failed to exhibit or empathise with any of the stereotypical swan traits successfully during her onscreen transmogrification. These would undoubtedly include breaking a jogger’s arm, stealing smaller wetland creatures’ food source (she barely ate anything except when licking cake from her mother’s finger which swans can rarely afford of course) or having backwards knees although this is alluded to.
Of course being both protected by her majesty the queen AND being cast AS The Swan Queen is probably what triggered her schizophrenic demise in the first instance. They very fact that swans are the only birds with penises/peni/penal chords wouldn’t help her tiny birdbrain stay focused and pure as the driven snow which once driven through isn’t very pure at all.
I also couldn’t help noticing that she (here it comes) didn’t once stick her neck out (thank you) to help the other ballerinas (ahem) spread their wings (you’re too kind). Whilst growing tiny spores of feathers clearly should be interpreted as symbolic, she did sleep often and probably just needed to wash her bedsheets rather than choking up the laundry-chute with giant girly teddies.
Winona ‘Do A Runner’ Ryder had very little to say for herself and appeared rather lifeless (even before entering a coma) except for the immortal line: “You STOLE them from me???” which as my fair ladyfriend pointed out seemed somewhat a case of introducing Pol POT to a hidden bag of KETTLE chips whilst he is under house arrest or in simpler terms hypocritical given that she claimed to be method acting when charged with shoplifting.
Crap canal-based punnery aside, this was a gripping and well-paced endeavour with cracking (i said no more puns! – ed.) cast all round. However, it did make me wonder why all lessing off in films has to be just petty vengeance at mother’s pride – this may be why Nina couldn’t touch herself when she knew her ma wouldn’t be horrified.