Black Swan

Are you ready to watch a ballet-thriller?

When my friend Michele Baker texted me, “Should I do Black Swan or 127 Hours?” for her talk at the Coolidge Corner Theatre’s “Off the Couch” series, I immediately answered back “Black Swan,” thinking that I could much better stomach a bone-dry documentary on economic theory than a flick about a guy forced to chew his arm off to escape from the side of a mountain.

It just goes to show how much of a giant nerd I really am, because Black Swan, starring Natalie Portman, Vincent Cassel, Mila Kunis, Barbara Hershey and Winona Ryder is NOT about how trading is impacted by catastrophic financial events; NOR is it a ballet chick flick.

(btw I’m still totally giggling over the gratuitous crotch shot of the male dancer at 2 o’clock in the screen shot above)

Okay, back on target here: what an interesting, arresting movie. With film-making that is beautiful, claustrophobic, and terrifying, I alternated between fascination and fear: intrigued by its portrayal of ballet and the dance world; then so appalled that I’d pull my sweater up over my eyes—which of course, didn’t work, because I’d peer through the knit so as not to miss any of this richly detailed and fast-paced film.

Best of all, Michele, a psychiatrist with the Boston Psychoanalytic Society, analyzed the characters and film for the audience after the movie.

If you haven’t seen the film yet, I won’t spoil it for you, but as Michele put it, Black Swan is a “brilliant and very moving character study of a woman with borderline personality disorder, who alternates between two distinct levels of disorganization: neurotic and psychotic.”

Whew! It’s good stuff: a movie that actually makes you think, unlike most Hollywood fare that evaporates from your brain as soon as the credits come rolling on.

You can still catch Black Swan at the Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline; the Coolidge”s “Off the Couch” series runs every second Tuesday of the month at 7:00 PM. Tickets are regular price.

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