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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.

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