Posts Tagged ‘Black Swan’
Here are our assessments on this year’s nominees for the 83rd Academy Award category of Best Director of a feature film.
Though Aronofsky has only directed a handful of films his distinct visual style and his gift of pulling great performances out of his actors are what make his films, and especially Black Swan, so remarkable. Aronofsky makes Black Swan a terrifying nightmare by mixing genres like horror, psychological thrillers and women’s pictures to tell the story of Nina Sayer’s rapid descent into madness. The constantly moving handheld camera and shooting the film as if from Nina’s perspective allow the audience to identify with the ballerina so severely that watching the line between her imagination and reality fracture becomes all the more terrifying. But while Aronofsky’s visual style can be stunning, it can also be distracting. Audiences, and by extension Oscar voters, can either find Aronofsky’s style engrossing or a little ostentatious and silly. Aronofsky’s direction, as well as the film itself, is fairly divisive, and he will have a tough time beating either David Fincher or Tom Hooper.
Odds of Winning: Unlikely
Here are our assessments on this year’s nominees for the 83rd Academy Award category of Best Actress in a leading role.
Mrs. Kidman has been nominated for an Academy Award for her performances in such films as Moulin Rouge! and The Hours, the latter of which she was awarded the gold statuette. Her nomination for Rabbit Hole is her first since than win. In the film she plays a mother who, along with her husband (played by Aaron Eckhart), tries to find a way of grieving for her lost son that will actually help her get past the life-altering tragedy. The couple’s conflicting forms of mourning threaten to tear their marriage apart, and it is during those scenes when she lets her emotions loose that Kidman’s talents shine brightest. On the surface it looks as though this were the type of performance that would be the most likely to garner an Oscar, however the role is decidedly one-note and doesn’t allow her to do much else besides wallow and argue. This is not to say that she doesn’t deserve the nomination, but when comparing her performance with the other nominees it fails to stand out.
Odds of Winning: Unlikely
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Screenwriters: Mark Heyman, Andres Heinz, John J. McLaughlin
Length: 1h 48m
Synopsis: Nina Sayers (Portman) is a young and promising ballerina trying her best to earn her big break. The company she works for has decided to open its new season of performances with a new rendition of Swan Lake, which will be a version unlike most others because director Thomas Leroy (Cassel) wants the same dancer to play both the white and black swan. After dealing with much stress Nina is cast in this once-in-a-life-time role, but that stress only builds on itself more and more the closer she gets to opening night. Fellow ballerina Lily (Kunis) befriends Nina during this time, but Nina suspects she has ulterior motives. And if that weren’t enough, Nina’s mother gradually overwhelms her with even more pressure to succeed. Drowning in anxiety Nina’s real challenge isn’t performing in the ballet but surviving long enough to do so.