Centerpiece Review: Black Swan
Short version, for those of you avoiding "spoilers" by staying away from long reviews: Black Swan is easy and in many ways gratifying to enjoy in a pulse-quickening way. But in most respects, it plays to me like a real retreat in layering, empathy, and ambition, compared to Aronofsky's two most recent films. The sound design feels over-worked and the performances under-conditioned, particularly in the key area of dance. Some viewers won't mind and may even relish Aronofsky sleek extrapolation of Swan Lake's stark white/black oppositions and fascination with doubling; others will think he could have brought a much more nuanced structure to this haunted house without violating the obvious register of sinister fairy tale. I think it's a good film (remember, for me, B really is slightly above average), but I feel disappointed all the same.
That's all I'll say about that if you want to hold out till you've formed your own opinion, in or around early December. But if you've already seen the movie, or you just can't wait to read another take, here you go.