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Black Swan / Rated R for sex, drugs and Tchaikovsky

I love films about ballet and classical music. Always have, always will. My all-time favorite is A Night at the Opera (1935). If you have the same love of the classics and ballet check out this masterpiece.

Black Swan is about ballet. Specifically Swan Lake, which is a well-known ballet by Pyotr Tchaikovsky. Those of us that knew him personally called him P.T. or Petey for short. He sure could dream up good ballet stuff.

Now his most famous ballet is fashioned into a story about Swan Lake with drug use, bizarre sex scenes, lots of grisly horror scenes, and blood of all kinds flowing everywhere. Add in job obsession, sexual frustration, a little bit of the movie Psycho (1960) and swan feathers growing in odd and unexpected places and you’ve got Black Swan.


Natalie Portman plays the prima ballerina trying to get the big part. She looks swell in her tutu. It’s said she lost 20 pounds for the part. Kirstie Alley tried out for the role but gained 20 pounds snacking on set during the audition and was rejected. She was also ordered to leave the studio before the caterer arrived with lunch. Barbara Hershey turns up in the role of NP’s obsessive psycho mom. Mila Kunis plays the younger ballerina and alter ego of the all-so-pure NP. Vincent Cassel is the ballet boss. He is the son of vet actor Jean Pierre Cassel who has played everything from a train conductor in Murder on the Orient Express to the King of France in The Three Musketeers.

The movie is a story of a sweet innocent ballerina who wants to be a star in Swan Lake. Unfortunately she must play both the White Swan and the Black Swan. As she progresses to the show’s premiere she undergoes a change that is both Jekyll and Hyde, as well as a Werewolf transformation right out of science fiction.

This movie is not for everyone. The scenes of sex are graphic and explicit. The violence is bloody and the frights are alarming. This film is scarier than movies that are supposed to be scary. It is also very disturbing unless you yourself are psychologically disturbed. I admit to finding the movie mildly disturbing but visually interesting. It’s kind of like taking a bubble bath in acid. Scented acid.

Rated 2.2 out of 4.0 “boogy, boogy, boogy”(s). Which is a line right out of A Night at the Opera.


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