Theater Masks

Theater Masks

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Thursday, January 20, 2011


I recently saw two movies that will likely be up for Oscars: Black Swan and The King's Speech. Caitie hated the former and loved the latter. I actually liked them both about the same. I think both movies had something great to offer, but also some fairly major downfalls.

The Black Swan had a great central performance by Natalie Portman - even Caitie agrees with this. I thought the cinematography was brilliant - the movie LOOKED great. I liked the symbolism in the movie also, but that's where things started to be problematic for me. The story itself gets somewhat muddled amidst all the (fairly heavy handed) symbolic and "trick" shots. To really get the movie I think you need to see it twice - and that's not fair. I think it's OK to add another LAYER to a movie so seeing it a second time will give you another view (see: The Usual Suspects, Fight Club), but to actually UNDERSTAND The Black Swan, you need to see it twice. Was that Portman or Kunis's face in that mirror? What was written on that wall (there was one scene I'm also SURE I saw the word "whore" written, but it was so fast I'm not sure if it was there or not). Subtlety is fine, but I left feeling like I missed something because of that. Still, I liked the movie - just not enough to really want to see it again.

The King's Speech was another movie I enjoyed but have little desire to see again. Again, the acting was fantastic - loved Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush. The story was good, but basically My Fair Lady (I know it's a real story, but the similarities are obvious). The DIALOGUE writing is very sharp, the overall story though could have been streamlined. It felt like some details were just kind of there because they had to be, but the real truth was glossed over (only later did I find out that King Edward was anti-Semitic and actually sided with Hitler in WWII!). Still, what really made the movie work was the acting - I will be shocked if Firth doesn't win a well deserved Oscar. Rush was equally good in a far less showy role, but I'd love to see him at least get nominated.

Did you see either movie? What did you think?


  1. No. Neither appealed to me at first.

    Now that I have heard so much about black swan I don't wish to see it. Not my cup of tea. I thought it was going to be about dance like the 70's one with Fonda and Bancroft. Now that I understand it is more of a horror story so not interested.If it comes to HBO or something I will probably check it out but seriously don't care.

    Normally not a big fan of movies with stories of royalty. And I have trouble understanding what they all are saying with the accent. (I know I know I'm an idiot) But now I do wish to see this one from what you and all my friends have said.

    Sounds like a weekend plan right?