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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a friend that I disagree with about movies almost constantly.  For some reason, we almost universally agree on comedies, but any other genre we seem to be divided.  I contend that you can just sort of like a movie.  He tends to either love a movie or hate it with a passion and there seems to be little in between.

Most recently we got into a text and email argument over the movie Black Swan.  He texted me begging me to tell him I hated the movie.  He then went on to rail against it, using extremely foul language.  I had to admit, I loved the movie.  I wrote an article for an entertainment website where I ranked my favorite films of 2010 and Black Swan was number 2 (now THERE'S a set-up for a joke, right?)

So, since some of the smartest and most fun people I know are here on the Kindleboards, I thought I would ask you guys...  Have you seen Black Swan?  Did you hate it or love it?  Does it tend to elicit extreme responses or are there people out there who just thought it was "OK?"
 

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I saw this movie with my daughter and we both loved it, but a friend of mine was like "I don't get it. Was it real or not?" 

It's one of those movies that will definitely affect people in different ways.  I'm in the "I loved it" camp!

Deb
 

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I think that Black Swan is one of best--if not the best--films I've seen in at least the last ten years.

I saw it in theaters, and, even now, I can't think of a single thing that I didn't like about it. The acting, the cinematography, the symbolic imagery--all of it hit the right notes for me. The ending consistently makes me cry, and I'm not a crier at movies. I just feel so overwhelmed by emotion, which is something that the movie does expertly, I think. You really get into Nina's POV and connect with her descent into madness in a way that I've rarely felt with any story.
 

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balaspa said:
I have a friend that I disagree with about movies almost constantly. For some reason, we almost universally agree on comedies, but any other genre we seem to be divided. I contend that you can just sort of like a movie. He tends to either love a movie or hate it with a passion and there seems to be little in between.

Most recently we got into a text and email argument over the movie Black Swan. He texted me begging me to tell him I hated the movie. He then went on to rail against it, using extremely foul language. I had to admit, I loved the movie. I wrote an article for an entertainment website where I ranked my favorite films of 2010 and Black Swan was number 2 (now THERE'S a set-up for a joke, right?)

So, since some of the smartest and most fun people I know are here on the Kindleboards, I thought I would ask you guys... Have you seen Black Swan? Did you hate it or love it? Does it tend to elicit extreme responses or are there people out there who just thought it was "OK?"
I loved the movie, what was there to hate? The performances were terrific and so was the plot. Your friend might not have understood that it was a psychological profile. The portrait of a woman falling apart at the seems in her search for perfection. Most of the dancing was done by a professional ballerina who went on to complain she got no credit, but that's what Hollywood does. They should change that practice though and give credit where credit is due.
 

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Guess I'm the dissenting voice. I thought it was "only okay."

The acting WAS superb, all the way around. No question. I particularly liked the 3 side characters -- the director (Thomas), the mother, and Lily. All 3 played the "fine line" of their characters quite well. (Not too much, not too little.) And Portman was solid, of course.

(Although I confess, it wasn't exactly *enjoyable* to watch such a beautiful woman in such constant anguish. :p)

However, I felt like a lot of the sex and violence was gratuitous. I'm not a prude or anything, I just genuinely didn't believe it added to the story. Call me cynical, but I think the sex was used to make the story more appealing (particularly to a male audience, which may have been disinclined to watch a movie about ballerinas otherwise) and I think the violence was used as a shortcut for making the film "gritty." When really, if both had been dialed down a notch, the film still would have accomplished both those things.

The crux of it was a girl falling apart, putting too much pressure on herself, growing paranoid ... perhaps all exacerbated by lack of nutrition and rest. That's an interesting, compelling story. And the use of "did this really happen? ... or not?" was great. So why sensationalize it? Why not let it stand on its own two feet?

So, like I said, it was okay. Definitely not a bad film, but definitely not the best I've seen either.

Kristan
 

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Kristan Hoffman said:
Guess I'm the dissenting voice. I thought it was "only okay."

The acting WAS superb, all the way around. No question. I particularly liked the 3 side characters -- the director (Thomas), the mother, and Lily. All 3 played the "fine line" of their characters quite well. (Not too much, not too little.) And Portman was solid, of course.

(Although I confess, it wasn't exactly *enjoyable* to watch such a beautiful woman in such constant anguish. :p)

However, I felt like a lot of the sex and violence was gratuitous. I'm not a prude or anything, I just genuinely didn't believe it added to the story. Call me cynical, but I think the sex was used to make the story more appealing (particularly to a male audience, which may have been disinclined to watch a movie about ballerinas otherwise) and I think the violence was used as a shortcut for making the film "gritty." When really, if both had been dialed down a notch, the film still would have accomplished both those things.

The crux of it was a girl falling apart, putting too much pressure on herself, growing paranoid ... perhaps all exacerbated by lack of nutrition and rest. That's an interesting, compelling story. And the use of "did this really happen? ... or not?" was great. So why sensationalize it? Why not let it stand on its own two feet?

So, like I said, it was okay. Definitely not a bad film, but definitely not the best I've seen either.

Kristan
You're a tough cookie but I agree with your assessment. Yet as a whole, the movie was intensely watchable. and that in my opinion, makes it a good movie. I was never bored in that movie. It kept me on edge and suspense. It wasn't "The Turning Point" which was wonderful but it was a good movie. I liked it, what I hated was "The kids are alright" and it got glowing reviews. I hated that movie with a passion. It bored the hell out of me and I adore Annette Benning but didn't think she gave such a great performance in that stupid movie either.
 

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Beatrice Brusic said:
You're a tough cookie but I agree with your assessment. Yet as a whole, the movie was intensely watchable. and that in my opinion, makes it a good movie. I was never bored in that movie. It kept me on edge and suspense. It wasn't "The Turning Point" which was wonderful but it was a good movie. I liked it, what I hated was "The kids are alright" and it got glowing reviews. I hated that movie with a passion. It bored the hell out of me and I adore Annette Benning but didn't think she gave such a great performance in that stupid movie either.
Lol you sound like a tough cookie too. I actually loved The Kids Are Alright and thought the performances there were all excellent as well (particularly Annette Benning and Mark Ruffalo). But I CAN see how it would bore some viewers. It was just a slice of one family's life.

What I appreciated most about that film (not to hijack the thread!) was how NORMAL it portrayed a two-mom family and their problems. I think gay people and their children deserve stories like that.

Kristan
 

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Kristan Hoffman said:
Lol you sound like a tough cookie too. I actually loved The Kids Are Alright and thought the performances there were all excellent as well (particularly Annette Benning and Mark Ruffalo). But I CAN see how it would bore some viewers. It was just a slice of one family's life.

What I appreciated most about that film (not to hijack the thread!) was how NORMAL it portrayed a two-mom family and their problems. I think gay people and their children deserve stories like that.

Kristan
You're not alone. A lot of people loved that movie and I loathed it. I taught it was trite, stupid and it made no sense whatsoever. The actors were wasted in that dopey movie. The fact that it deals with gayness has nothing to do with it. It wasn't Brokeback Mountain, that's for sure. In that sensitive, wonderful movie, you actually believed the love story. You don't believe anything in The kids are alright, at least I didn't. I wanted my money back.
 

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Beatrice Brusic said:
You're not alone. A lot of people loved that movie and I loathed it. I taught it was trite, stupid and it made no sense whatsoever. The actors were wasted in that dopey movie. The fact that it deals with gayness has nothing to do with it. It wasn't Brokeback Mountain, that's for sure. In that sensitive, wonderful movie, you actually believed the love story. You don't believe anything in The kids are alright, at least I didn't. I wanted my money back.
Well, what I mean is that I didn't feel it "dealt with gayness" -- the parents just *happened* to be gay. But what happened to their family could have happened to *any* family. That's what I thought was so valuable.

Haven't seen Brokeback, but I really want to!

Kristan
 

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I saw Black Swan at the movie theater and was very disappointed in it.  If I'd known it was a creepy horror flick, I wouldn't have gone.  Feathers growing out of her back?  This was not for me.  I love ballet and hate how it was used.

Fine with me that Natalie Portman won the Oscar for best actress.  She did a great job in a creepy movie.
 
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I was told that I really need to watch this movie because I would love it. I have no idea what it's about though and still haven't seen it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I am glad to see that it isn't entirely polarizing and that some people felt it was OK.  I never believe that things are black and white.  There is always middle ground.

With my friend, it is often hard for him to explain why he hates certain movies.  The one movie he hates more than any others is Natural Born Killers.  It is his standard for badness.  And he said Black Swan was almost in that category.

Then again, he once told me he did not like Goodfellas, so you have to take it with a grain of salt.

Still, I love a good debate and I love that this thread helped spark one...
 

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I give it an emphatic...  eh.

It was very repetitive, with the director asking over and over for more emotion.  And I thought Kunis was more engaging onscreen than Portman.

Speaking of Portman, I recently saw a movie of hers I had surprisingly never seen before - Beautiful Girls.  In that movie, fifteen-year-old Portman was electric on the screen, a real feat considering the all-star cast.
 

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I just watched the movie last night.  I thought it was good, though it was weird.  However, my take on it was this:  I feel it shows the descent into madness of this woman because she was not mentally equipped to handle the horrendous stress of the profession she was in.  (I don't know how anyone could be mentally equipped to handle it).  I feel that due to the stress and perfectionism that her profession caused her to have, that she started having horrible hallucinations and the weird stuff that was shown was her hallucinations.  I thought it was well done and Natalie Portman played an excellent portrayal of a mentally tortured woman.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Good responses.  I hope this thread keeps going because I hope to send a link to my friend who seemed to so absolutely hate it.  Even the "meh" responses I consider a personal victory.

And, yes, I think I take my debates with my friend a tad too seriously...
 

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rhondastapleton said:
I loved it too. What really made it linger with me was the increasingly blurring line between reality and fiction. Her descent into madness was stark but compelling. I was riveted.
I couldn't have said it any better. That's exactly what my wife and I were saying after we saw the movie.
 
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