Black Swan

I’m getting concerned that I may have a full-on movie addiction. For the second night in a row I’ve spent ninety minutes (that I’ll never get back) watching a flick on the free hotel HBO. Oh I had grand plans; in order, I was going to get back to the room, get a workout in, grab a light snack from the Courtyard by Marriott lobby bar, and catch up on emails.

Well, at least I made it through the workout.

We’ll get to the movie in a little bit, but I first I need to talk about old age. Remember that article a few weeks ago about cognitive loss starting at 45? So do I (even though I’m surprised I didn’t forget about it already). Well, I think a bigger concern for us in that 45+ age bracket is loss of the ability to focus.

At least for me it is, I can’t focus for extended periods of time like I used to. I don’t feel like my ability to reason or analyze is any worse off, but my brain fries much quicker. Once I hit about ten hours of work, I have a precipitous drop-off in my ability to stay engaged in anything. During the last two days, I’ve worked consecutive twelve-plus hour days. Coming home and working out and eating healthy and checking emails was a pipe dream.

Enter Black Swan.

So yes, I’m watching movies at a much faster clip than in the past, but this consecutive night movie-watching thing isn’t an addiction as much as it is a tired brain looking for some relief.

That’s what I’m going with, for now.

Black Swan suffered from some very high expectations on my part. I wanted to see it when it came out a year or so ago, but nobody wanted to go with me, so I was fired up when I noticed it on the little HBO guide sitting next to the TV.

It was decent. I was engrossed and held in rapt attention, but I struggled with some things.

I didn’t like Portman’s character Nina. She was always crying and mumbling and never seemed to shake out of her reverie. I expected her to be insecure and meek I guess, as the white swan, but I figured she’d be a little stronger character. And when she did rise up and stand up for herself, it wasn’t in a manner fitting for such an accomplished artist. It just didn’t sit right.

Maybe that’s the point, that she was insane and that’s how insane people act. That she didn’t know which swan was real. Okay, I’ll accept that. Her insane delusions made for a horror movie dynamic without it actually being a horror movie, which was cool. I couldn’t turn it off, but not necessarily because I was enjoying myself, more so because I was anxious. It did a great job as a thriller, for sure.


The ending didn’t blow me away really. I wasn’t surprised when she died, but maybe nobody was. Was the surprise supposed to be how she died, after dancing the perfect white swan/black swan combination? Not sure I bought off on that completely, by killing herself before the actual fall (jump into the lake, whatever), it really wasn’t perfect was it? The fall should have killed her.

Ah, I’m sorry to nitpick. Alas, this was probably the wrong movie to watch with a fried brain because it makes you think.