To feel quite traumatised after watching Black Swan?(151 Posts)
I don't use the word lightly, either. I don't do well with psychological thriller type movies and that sort of thing.
I thought I was going to be watching dancing with a power struggle. Not blood, hallucinations and the rest.
I thought that it was the actual dance part that got into her head in a spooky woo way. She had to surrender herself to the dance and release her dark side and then the dance possessed her. Also the lesbian scene with Mila Kunis wasn't a fantasy, Natalie Portman woke up the morning after and her bedroom door was jammed shut from the inside. I thought it was in the same vein as Devils Advocate
Out of curiosity, can anyone who dislikes BS recommend a good psychological thriller ?
Gosh that was superb. Better acted than the film.
"ultimately her psychological collapse which had clearly been years in the making was reduced to cheap sexual gimmicks"
But there was nothing in the movie to warrant your impression that the suggestion to go masturbate and loosen up a bit caused her psychological collapse. Maybe the drugs she was fed in the club, but not the teeny little masturbation, surely. Who would believe that would be the cause of anyone's psychological collapse?
If this is what you have understood, it is just not correct.
I'm sorry that you think I'm being patronising for saying this, fwiw.
However, Black Swan did inspire this:
So it isn't entirely without merit.
Yes, the dancing was rubbish! Agreeing with the poster who said that.
It had potential, but it wasn't very good in reality.
I remember a ballet dancer in an interview being asked how realistic they thought it was. They, quite rightly, looked like this
Thanks for being patronising. I understand her psychosis was caused by years of stress and trauma and the extremely unforgiving nature of her 'job'.
However to me I didn't feel it was properly conveyed. I thought ultimately her psychological collapse which had clearly been years in the making was reduced to cheap sexual gimmicks.
I didn't feel the choreographer was exploitative, I felt the movie was. It would have been much more dramatic and interesting to see her unravel in a more 'balanced' setting.
And I called him mad in the same way you would use the mad scientist cliche. He's not clinically insane but he is so one-dimensional that he comes across as a plot contrivance. IN MY OPINION.
Quite frankly I didn't feel the film was deep enough to not be understood. That's why I didn't like it. Because TO ME it wasted a potentially great storyline.
Gosh to seen these films you mention. I'm going to have to check them out but I'm a bit of a wuss these days when it comes to creepy films.
Dances with Wolves won Oscars! What does that prove?
Cote, please do not make this yet another thread about how clever you think you are. People are entitled to their opinions, Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB be damned.
Anon - How good is Animal Kingdom? Have you seen Snowtown? That is definitely the creepiest film I have seen.
Again, choreographer wasn't "mad". There was nothing irrational about him, he didn't do anything crazy, and "narcissist" doesn't mean "mad".
"I didn't 'buy' it- because of the whole ridiculous 'go home and touch yourself' comment. As it was it seemed to reduce her psychosis to sexual exploration, which annoyed me."
Ah you see, it turns out that you didn't get it after all
Her psychosis was related to the extreme pressure she was under, not the sexual exploration aspect which was only a small part of the movie. She really wanted the role and obviously was pushed & primed all her life to desire it by her mum, but was nowhere near ready to deal with the stress that getting it, keeping it, and performing under it would bring. As a result, she cracked.
'Go home and touch yourself' was a jackass type of comment from the narcissistic choreographer who thought she needed to loosen up and bring out her passionate side. Break through the "nice girl" persona, if you will. A bit of masturbation didn't cause her psychosis, and her psychosis was not reduced to sexual exploration.
"I did think it was exploitative."
Exploitive would have been for him to take her to bed, which would have been easy enough. Was he a nice guy? No. Did he exploit her? I wouldn't say so.
In any case, would you write off a film if a main character is exploitative? Does that mean the film is "shite"?
I said essentially! What I meant was that (in my opinion) her psychotic breakdown was unconvincing. I didn't 'buy' it- because of the whole ridiculous 'go home and touch yourself' comment. As it was it seemed to reduce her psychosis to sexual exploration, which annoyed me. I did think it was exploitative.
Cassel's interview was in Elle magazine back when the film came out. There's another one in the Cahiers du Cinema (I think) where he said he wanted to make his character gay so that he could really camp it up but the director wouldn't let him. So he played it extreme narcissistic instead.
Basically I thought the whole thing was v heavy-handed. The mother was hysterical, the choreographer was 'mad' etc etc
It would have made for a far more powerful movie without all that excess.
I saw Dead Ringers years ago. I seem to remember it was rather good.
Anyway please tell me what films you hate!
I know what you mean by the mother resembling the mum in Carrie but why would that make a bad film? There can be more than one controlling vicious mum character in the history of filmmaking.
I didn't think Natalie Portman overacted, and neither did those who gave her the Oscar, I presume. Can you provide a link to where Vincent Cassel says he has overacted to French press? (I read French)
I don't understand what you even mean by "psychosis became sexual titillation" - do you think that the audience was aroused by the dancer's psychosis? or that psychotic personalities should not have sexual fantasies?
Have you watched any films in this genre? There are quite a few good ones that have psychosis and sexual titillation, like Dead Ringers. I'm not sure why you think there can't be sexuality in a film about psychotic character(s).
Which was my last point. A lot of movie reviewers get caught up in the hype- specially when it comes to certain film types or directors.
As for Black Swan specifically as I said I thought the performances were very OTT- Vincent Cassel in interviews in the French press mentioned it himself.
Portman IMO overracted badly and the mother could have been copied and pasted from Carrie.
So yes I found the characters unconvincing.
As for the plot I thought it was trying to be too many movies- but ultimately what I found disappointing was that the psychosis became sexual titillation.
And the dancing was shite.
I didn't see Shakespeare In Love, because another genre I can't stand is romantic comedy. Again, I wouldn't call them all "shite films" because I'm sure there are good ones and bad ones.
"It's interesting that Cote dismisses critics of the movie"
"Shite" is not a criticism and you are not a critic.
You are welcome to criticise. If you really have something objective to say about it - how exactly the director has failed you, for example, or what you thought was badly done. Plot? Characters? Cinematography?
Anyway, what I have said is that maybe you should stop and think if you might be wrong to call "shite" a movie that has been nominated for Best Film & Best Director Oscars, and is currently at 8.1 in IMDB and 79 on Metacritic - i.e. well-appreciated by the Academy, general public, and critics. Actual movie critics, I mean
I like shit films though.
I thought it was grim.
DD and I went to see it because DH wanted to see "True Grit" and we didn't fancy it so DD chose "Black Swan" instead. We both thought it was a bit disturbing and agreed we should have gone with the Western.
Actually a lot of shite films have won Oscars. It's not always about the quality of the movie.
Case in point? Shakespeare in Love. And averagely amusing romantic comedy that happened to beat The Thin Red Line, Saving Private Ryan and Elizabeth to win Oscar for Best Picture.
Gwyneth Paltrow won the Oscar for an adequate performance ahead of women like Emily Watson in Hillary and Jackie and Cate Blanchett in Elizabeth. Judi Dench won Best Supporting for a cameo appearance where she said about ten lines. Even she was shocked at winning. It emerged that Weinstein had led an extremely aggressive PR campaign for his film and insiders all but said he 'bought' the Oscars.
Middle described a film that would have been terrific but Black Swan didn't achieve that. The breakdown was essentially reduced to bizarre sexual fantasies (interesting that the word of mouth on the movie was all about the lesbian sex scene) and the mother was straight out of Carrie.
Portman herself made the dancing the focus of her interviews- odd that it came across as stilted and amateur.
As for the reviews there is such a thing as hype and 'trend'. It's interesting that Cote dismisses critics of the movie by saying we 'didn't get it'. It's often a tool reviewers use and it creates a wave of paranoia from people ashamed to appear too dim to appreciate 'art'.
I still think Black Swan is going to date very quickly. It's a shame because I thought the premise was terrific.
I was traumatised by it because I didn't expect to see a psychological thriller. I hadn't read about it and the into was very bland.
The substance of it was fascinating, it was the imagery I didn't cope well with.
The distinction is between subjective/personal appreciation ("I didn't like it") and objective assessment on merit ("It's shit").
You are of course allowed to not like it (opinion), but should stop and think if maybe you are wrong when you call "shit" a film that has been nominated for Best Film & Best Director actors, not to mention widely acclaimed by critics and audiences alike.
For example, I didn't like Platoon. I don't like war films & books in general - just don't see the point. However, if I were to call it "shit", I would be wrong because it is not.
I'm allowed to think it was shit just as you are allowed to enjoy it!
And I did 'get it.'
I'm with middleclass on this.
Black Swan is a disturbing film about psychosis. Dancing is only the background. If you expect Dirty Dancing, you will be disappointed. If you are at the stage in your life when you giggle with girlfriends at the movies, you are probably not going to appreciate it.
What it is not is dull or "utter shit". Oscar nominations for Best Film & Best Director, not to mention 8.1 on IMDB and 79 on Metacritic means
it's you who didn't get it maybe you didn't appreciate it but the world at large did.
I hated The Road-the book and film bored me senseless. Dh nearly divorced me over it, we discussed it all week, the poor man nearly needed counselling after reading it
Middle-thanks for that but it was still utter shit
I've not read the book, so for me it was "heart in mouth" tense all the way through. Was the same watching Ill Manors.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.