Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Venice Film Festival Begins: Black Swan!

So, the Venice Film Festival has finally begun, leading us head first into awards season. So what do critics have to say about the premiere film, Black Swan? In short, the film is insane, breathtaking, and devastating, all in a great way. While journeying into new territory always brings some opposition, people are mostly on the favorable side of Darren Aronofsky's latest. Rather than chastise him for coming up with something so absurd, they're applauding him for attempting something so radically new, even if it doesn't work 100%. Read below to find out what the critics think.

Peter Debruge (Variety): “Coupled with Clint Mansell’s score, which expands upon Tchaikovsky’s original 'Swan Lake' compositions to suggest something considerably more macabre (further aided by proper horror-movie sound design), the result is an unsettling yet ultimately intuitive blend of classical and contempo techniques.” “A wicked, sexy and ultimately devastating study of a young dancer’s all-consuming ambition,”

Kirk Honeycutt (
Hollywood Reporter): “The movie is so damn out-there in every way that you can’t help admiring Aronofsky for daring to be so very, very absurd.” "An instant guilty pleasure, a gorgeously shot, visually complex film whose badness is what’s so good about it. You might howl at the sheer audacity of mixing mental illness with the body-fatiguing, mind-numbing rigors of ballet, but its lurid imagery and a hellcat competition between two rival dancers is pretty irresistible. Certain to divide audiences, 'Swan' won’t lack for controversy.” “Portman, who has danced but is no ballerina, does a more than credible job in the big dance numbers and the tough rehearsals that are so essential to the film. In her acting, too, you sense she has bravely ventured out of her comfort zone to play a character slowly losing sight of herself. It’s a bravura performance.”

Mike Goodridge (
Screen International): “Darren Aronofsky soars to new heights with 'Black Swan', an enthralling drama set in the competitive world of ballet. Alternately disturbing and exhilarating, this dark study of a mentally fragile performer derailed by her obsession with perfection is one of the most exciting films to come out of the Hollywood system this year.” … “a bold display of cinematic fireworks that will leave audiences breathless.” … “If you can imagine 'The Turning Point' run through with the psychological disturbia of 'Repulsion' or 'Rosemary’s Baby', you get the gist of 'Black Swan'.”
Thanks to /Film for providing the snippets from reviews. Stay tuned for more reviews to come out of the festival. For now, Black Swan being a relatively powerful success bodes good things for this Oscar season. Also, check out Guy Lodge from In Contention's review of the film.

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