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I knew nothing at all about "Black Swan" before watching it, other than glancing that it was a Best Picture Nominee in 2010 - one of only a handful of horror films to be nominated for Best Picture (*) - that was good enough to attract my attention. To be honest, although I knew the name Natalie Portman very well, I don't think I'd ever seen her before - she won an Academy Award for Best Actress in "Black Swan," and it seemed reasonable that she was at least nominated (although this is certainly not one of the most memorable performances I've seen). One problem for the viewer in this film is that there are several divas at work here, and they all look a lot alike - yes, even a 39-year-old Winona Ryder. I understand that ballerinas are largely cut from the same mold, but it would have been nice to help the viewer visually - maybe with an actress of color? For example, I'm *still* not quite sure to whom, early in the film, Nina mistakenly said, "Congratulations," thinking that she (Nina) had lost the part to this other ballerina - Nina was wrong, of course, and the other ballerina furiously came back and dressed her down. Was that Lily? (Mila Kunis?) I don't *think* it was, but I wasn't familiar enough with the characters to be sure - whomever it was, it was *extremely* out of character for Nina not to have hunted her down and apologized profusely, which she never did. I've never seen "Swan Lake," so I was pleased to get a little synopsis of the plot. That said, I suspect there are ballet aficionados out there who loathe this film, for various reasons - refer to "Shine" and piano, which I detest with every fiber of my being. Writing this a day later, I'm already forgetting aspects of this film - I suspect that a year from now, I'll remember almost nothing about it, which may say more about me than the movie. Still, this was not an unforgettable motion picture experience. I wish I had a vote for the Academy Awards - it wouldn't change much (one vote never does), but it would at least be a fair, intelligent vote that isn't wasted. (*) It should be noted that, of the six "horror" films to be nominated for Best Picture, only three are pure horror films: "The Exorcist," "The Sixth Sense," and "Get Out." The other three, "Jaws," "Silence of the Lambs," and "Black Swan" are either thrillers, or (in the case of "Black Swan") psychological dramas.
No, I didn't just watch this film; I watched it when it came out in 2006 - this is around the time when Sacha Baron Cohen was a household word ... I wonder how often you've heard his name recently. I'm one of the least "politically correct" people you know - in fact, I despise political correctness. On the other hand, I despise stupidity and meanness even more, and this was about the stupidest, meanest film I have ever seen, post-1954. First of all, do people realize that Kazakhstan is approximately the size of what we think of as Europe? This isn't including the ex-Soviet countries, Scandanavia, or the United Kingdom. Take a look at a map, and see just how large Kazakhstan is: It's the 9th-largest country in the world. Up until I saw this movie, I thought Cohen was mildly amusing with his fake interviews; after I saw it, I never had the desire to see him again. I don't like the term, "mean-spirited," but "mean-spirited" is precisely what this movie was. Am I imagining things, or did Cohen's career go downhill almost immediately after this film was finished raking in money from all the college kids who made it a quarter-of-a-billion dollars? Cohen played the ignorant American public for the uneducated fools that they are. I hated this movie, and this movie made me strongly dislike Cohen. I'm very curious to know what other people think, and also what has happened with this embarrassment of a human being. And if anyone points out that Cohen is worth $100 million, I'll reply by pointing out that Adam Sandler is worth $300 million.