Why I hated Black Swan & don’t think it deserves any Oscars

First of all, I think Natalie Portman is a good actress, i think her acting in ‘Brothers’ (a super film you should watch) was Oscar-worthy.la modella mafia black swan posters So this is not a diss against her as an actress. I do think it’s disappointing that she couldn’t make this role break out of the stereotype box, considering she worked on this screenplay for so many years, it’s baffling, because it is SO BAD. I thought she was better than that, smarter, she’s an educated activist after all! If she doesn’t get gender stereotypes which actress will? I found her acting in this, aside from the short scene of her on the phone in the bathroom stall, rather boring, un-nuanced and definitely not Oscar worthy. The film should not get ANY awards. period.


Black Swan is a very cliched, stereotyped and simplistic portrayal of the misogynist gaze. Virgin Mary vs Mary Magdalene. It pits the virgin against the whore, the white swan against the black swan, the innocent good girl against the naughty bad girl. And it does it in such an uninteresting unprofound and unsubtle way. Frankly, it’s boring. We know these are the dichotomies instilled in our social conditioning, good girl, bad girl. Yawn. And both of them are crazy, friggin LUNATICS. And so is Winona Ryder’s character, she’s nuts too. So is the mom, mad. ALL THE WOMEN IN BLACK SWAN ARE CRAZY NUTTERS. Of course they are, there is a long history of sexism dismissing women as being mad. We don’t need to go into Foucault and madness but that is why I chose to use the term ‘LivLunatics’, as a pomo play on words of this definition of female madness, as a way to make fun of it, because it is so trite.


As long as the mad cliched dichotomied women look good, they serve some purpose. We can watch them masturbate and make out with each other wearing their undies. Attractive crazy young females playing bi, that is really something fresh and new, I think that should get some awards. NOT. Nevermind it feels like a TV teen film, and there’s no character development or interesting plot or story. Did she imagine it all or it did it happen- WHO CARES? It just doesn’t matter either way, so unlike Inception, which was really clever, I have no incentive to think about it or be intellectually engaged.


What about the ballet part then, did that redeem the film? Because I used to dance ballet, I was looking forward to this film for months, finally a ballet feature film! YES! I couldn’t wait, though the trailers were ominous, I thought this has to be awesome. And I was so gutted that all it ended up being was pointless creepiness. There was no beautiful dancing (if you are a ballet fan and have seen the best ballerinas in the world you’ll agree that the dancing was cringe-worthy and not refined). Mila Kunis & Natalie Portman are only convincing ballet dancers if you are good at suspension of disbelief. The story of Swan Lake was turned literal- wow, that is some deep shit. I would’ve never guessed that. The white swan actually dies, she really kills herself. Arronofsky dude that is so profound, really, that’s it? That’s what we wait for all film long one cringe worthy scene after another, and that’s it. That’s the big twist to this classic story. Ugh. So lame.


Yes I kept thinking about the film for several days after I saw it, because I was hoping to find some redeeming qualities in it. The mother-daughter relationship? Cliche. The pervy French head of the ballet. So cliche. The interesting swanbumps on her skin and the way she turns into the Black Swan, wow that is a gross visual effect, not enough to warrant sitting through the film. Her cutting and scratching herself. Cliche, of course she does, she’s a perfectionist. Her masturbating and then seeing her mom was sitting right there, sleeping, so creepy, insinuation of incest. It’s bad, it’s really bad, and I can’t believe it’s getting such great reviews. I hope The Fighter wins, because that was a brilliant film- moving, entertaining, amazing story, character developments, strong females. Go see it.


For more on why Black Swan is sexist and lame:





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  1. I absolutely agree with you. Total and utter crap. Dancing was pathetic to non existent. No dancer or company would ever behave that way; you need the mental and physical stamina to perform. Stupid psycho bullshit. And the fact people like it! Shows they know nothing at all. Even the punters who go/support/enjoy the ballet in New York really don’t have an intimate knowledge or understanding of what they see; they just appreciate the ballet. Crap movie, enjoyed by people who have no clue about the subject.

  2. totally agree! The plot seemed to be built as an extended torture of a weak and needy character. why why why?? And sadistic casting of Winona, wtf? admittedly I’m watching in a post-weinstein era, but the idea that nasty sexual bullying is the only way to elicit a great performance is outrageous. My daughters aged 12 and 14 were watching and I felt compelled to keep adding the caveat ‘that’s NOT good teaching, girls’. They know this anyway, they’re not idiots. I did think Portman gave a good performance but as you say, the raw material she was working with sucked.

  3. Not only Black Swan is a shit film, it literally has no originality what so ever. Aronofsky the film director has stolen a lot from another film director Satoshi Kon. Black Swan is a stolen adaptation of the anime film Perfect Blue which is a masterpiece of its own right-Yet Black Swan gets an Oscar? Aronofsky never admits or give any recognition to Satoshi Kon’s work. Aronofsky actually went out of his way and bought the rights to Perfect Blue just so he can feel less guilty into thinking he has rights to steal this film. But in the end what do you expect from Hollywood? Hollywood has always been fake and fake people aren’t original.

  4. I wonder if I “oversaw” things in this film! I thought it was a genius way to portray mother to daughter sexual abuse and what that means to the abuse survivor when they finally learn what sex really is/means. The mother infantilized Nina, controlled her, and as Nina started “growing up” and understanding she was pushed over the edge.

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