Having seen the remarkably in-depth behind the scenes featurette on the Swan DVD I can report that the real contribution that got screwed out of recognition was not Portman’s dancing double (igniting recent controversy) but Swan’s special effects team. On a limited budget, the effects of Black Swan are just as skillful as Inception’s. Swan's effects are often invisible (few stop to think how they are able to film in rooms filled with mirrors), but when they are intentionally noticeable they contribute to the film’s artistic vision. Why doesn’t that factor into award recognition? (Although I should point out that small scale f/x are no obstacle to Film Bitch Award recognition)
Though technically flawless I doubt the invasion of killer robots during Iron Man 2's climax is going to linger in anybody’s memory, yet I can confirm that Nina’s legs snapping violently backwards with a sickening crack has lingered since the film first screened.
So I encourage folks to check out that DVD doc to fully appreciate the craftsmanship that went into this amazing film, although there may be a few points you will want to cover your eyes in order to preserve the magic. And as long as we're shopping for movies another masterpiece hits Blu-ray today, under the Criterion Collection umbrella: Mike Leigh's Topsy-Turvy. Leigh's ode to the creative process is the staid and dignified white swan to Aronofsky's wild and subjective black.
Also hitting DVD or BluRay today:
- Fair Game (Naomi Watts & Sean Penn)
- Resident Evil (Hilary Swank, straight to DVD)
- Tangled (see previous posts)
- Made in Dagenham (Sally Hawkins, Miranda Richardson & Rosamund Pike)
- All Good Things (TFE's Kirsten Dunst interview)