Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Black Swan is Flashdance for a New Generation

Have you ever seen a movie that uplifted your spirits and made you believe in possibilities again? I have! And last night's film was just that sort of movie, the feel-good hit of the year and justified Oscar-bait. I'm talking of course about "Black Swan".

This film traces the trials and tribulations of Nina, a ballerina in New York, who's just trying to get that big break. And with determination and moxie, she succeeds with the help of her new friend Lily who inspires her to perform the dual-role she needs to fill in the ballet. See, the ballet involves the star playing both a "white swan" and a "black swan", with the former being all good and happy and the latter being jealous and mean. Nina faces the challenge, despite some misunderstandings with her mother and guilt over taking the part from the ever-charming Winona Ryder. Lily comes through as a friend, supporting Nina's efforts even though it means having to remain an understudy herself (see, that's loyalty and dedication, and class--something tells me the sequel to this film might be about Lily's big break).

Ultimately, on the night of the big performance, Nina has some mishaps, including getting cut by some mirror in a dressing room accident, but spurred on by her friend she soldiers through the performance, playing both black and white swan perfectly to the crowd's delight. Now, I'm no ballet fan--dancing confuses and angers me--but even I was impressed by the hard work and talent displayed on screen here.

Was I inspired to go see a ballet? Certainly not! But the "try and you shall succeed" message of this feel-good movie was able to reach me, so it should be able to reach any of its audience.

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