Last weekend, I saw what I believe is one of the best pictures of the year, a film which is getting Golden Globe and Oscar buzz and for good reason. That good reason has nothing to do with the compelling sex scene between the film’s starlets Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis.
Nothing at all.
The film is Black Swan, Darren Aronofsky’s psychological thriller, starring Portman as Nina, a driven ballet dancer who wears tight clothes and pushes herself to – or past – the brink of sanity in the pursuit of perfection for her stage premiere of the classic ballet “Swan Lake.” This internal conflict is exacerbated by the arrival of Mila Kunis’ Lily, who is the unwound and liberated antithesis of Nina’s uptight nature, and becomes a fixation of paranoia for Portman’s character. They also get sexually intimate during a scene of the film.
It is a compelling drama, ripe with psychoanalysis, gripping conflicts, both external and internal, and this two-minute scene where Portman and Kunis strip down and enjoy each other’s company nakedly. Tensions mount between Nina and her director, her mother, and her craft as she slowly descends into madness, leading to the shocking opening night of the ballet: Will she crack? Will she hurt someone? Will she hurt herself? Will she swap spit with Mila Kunis again? It’s a thriller for sure.
Immediately, this picture climbed my ranks of best pictures of this year as an engaging and compelling winner, and in no way because of the downright hotness between Portman and Kunis’s bedroom scene. That scene barely crosses my mind when you consider the ingenious directing of Aronofsky, the masterful plot, and other scenes that weren’t two scantily clad, gorgeous women engaging in sundry lesbian sex acts.
Where does this rank among this year’s other blockbusters? The longest-running front runner has been The Social Network, Aaron Sorkin and David Fincher’s take on the genesis of Facebook and its founder, Mark Zuckerberg. It was a unique look at the psychosis of its founder, featured a couple of college lesbian scenes, and was ultimately a good film, while not as deep as Black Swan. For all of the intrigue and action Inception provided, sometimes Nolan’s dreamscapes were without two women sucking face and often became overly convoluted and confusing.
The Coen Bros. remake of John Wayne’s classic True Grit, starring reigning Best Actor Jeff Bridges, is expected to be high on many people’s lists, and I will give it a shot, and not despite an apparent lack of women cast members who could possibly get with each other.
So go see Black Swan. It is a worth film that will hold your attention for 70 minutes, REALLY hold your attention for two minutes or so, and then hold your attention for an additional twenty sweaty minutes, I guess. I don’t really remember the ending, but I’m sure it’s good.