Wednesday, February 02, 2011

BLACK SWAN (Darren Aronofsky, 2010)

****½
USA

Aronofsky never properly shepherds you into his heroine's mind, since there is no such thing to speak of: psychologically Nina never coheres into anything beyond a conglomerate of crazy-virgin-horror tropes. So, in the figurative sense - never mind the literal - he never seriously gets under Nina's skin.

The point is, he gets under yours. This is crazy virgin horror like you've never seen before (and you may never organically see again): strung out to a disarmingly earnest pitch of absurd, unhinged hysteria. Even more than Nina, you feel like you're riding along an unfathomably nasty precipice. It's exhilarating.

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Monday, January 31, 2011

THE KING'S SPEECH (Tom Hooper, 2010)

**
UK


The English king abdicates to marry an American two-time divorcee. War is encroaching and Hitler threatens to swallow up Eastern Europe. But above all, I am to invest myself intellectually and emotionally into whether George XII - under the tutelage of an Australian fairy godfather - pulls off his speech without a stutter?

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THE TARNISHED ANGELS (Douglas Sirk, 1957)

***½
USA

A whiff of purple prose permeates, but Sirk – his typically silky camerawork – gives good mood