I walked out from my viewing of Black Swan feeling as if I needed a Valium.
Mrs. Film Geek and I spent the 20 minute drive home debating what we just watched. We agreed Natalie Portman gave the performance of a lifetime. We disagreed, though, about whether the transformation her character experienced was the result of a psychotic break, or a cinematic technique to clue the audience in to Portman's severe internal conflict. By the time we arrived home Mrs. Film Geek had won the debate.
Note to self: Don't argue psychological issues with a clinical psychologist.
Watching Portman's Nina Sayers is difficult; the intense performances, sensitive material, minimalist acting, and stark direction causes every scene to be intense. By the movie's end the audience has been beaten down emotionally and psychologically. Just like Sayers. We're exhausted, a bit paranoid, and desperate. During our discussion on the drive home, Mrs. Film Geek described best how we both felt about this movie.
Black Swan is more an experience than it is a movie. And it's brilliant.