Skip to main content
Tag

darren aronofsky Archives - Funerals & Snakes

Review: Black Swan, The King’s Speech, The Fighter, Desert Flower, Unstoppable, Burlesque, Little Fockers, Green Hornet and The Hopes and Dreams of Gazza Snell

By Cinema and Reviews

Following up on the 2009 surprise hit The Wrestler, Darren Aronofsky has offered us another film about people who destroy themselves for our entertainment — this time in the rarefied world of ballet. Tiny Natalie Portman is plucked from the chorus of the fictional but prestigious New York City Ballet for the dream role of the Swan in a hot new production. It’s the chance of a lifetime but her fragile psychology shows through in her performance even though her dancing is technically perfect. Maestro Vincent Cassel tries to reconstruct her — as you would a first year drama school student — while domineering stage mother Barbara Hershey is pushing back in the other direction. Something has to break and it does.

Black Swan is exceptionally well made, beautiful and challenging to watch — and Portman’s performance is nothing short of amazing — but films that aspire to greatness need to be about something more than, you know, what they’re about and once I’d decoded was going on I couldn’t see enough under the surface to justify the hype.

Read More

Review: The Wrestler, Before the Rains, Transporter 3, Empties and The Last Great Snail Chase

By Cinema and Reviews

The Wrestler posterI’d like to think of Darren Aronofsky’s The Wrestler as a kind of grand metaphor for America, a bankrupt and exhausted old culture, coasting to the finish line on the fumes of former glories, unable or unwilling to reinvent itself despite every signal telling it to change. In one, of several, heartbreaking scenes Mickey Rourke’s Randy “The Ram” takes his estranged daughter to the abandoned and derelict amusements of Asbury Park where he hopes to rekindle memories of happier times but the moment of grace is short-lived. Of course, it may just be a film about a wrestler, I’ll give you that.

The Ram was a big star in the 80s when MTV and pro-wrestling collided, but now he lives in a trailer and wrestles in school halls. And wrestling, too, has changed. It’s still showbusiness but now it’s degrading and dehumanising, the public baying for even more blood and demanding ever greater sacrifices.

Read More