Places, Everyone!

There will be no jazz hands in this onePeople keep telling me there aren’t enough musicals these days. Well, today sees the release of three movies that are chock full of singing and/or dancing — though not necessarily the sort that’ll conjure up fond memories of the grand days of MGM.

Black Swan“: Darren Aronofsky’s dazzling psychological thriller features Natalie Portman in a career-best turn as a ballerina crumbling under the stress of starring in “Swan Lake”. You’ll either embrace it or reject it in the first 20 minutes; all I can say is I wish Aronofsky had been willing to go even crazier.

“Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench”: A pair of young Bostonians try to find harmony together in Darien Chazelle’s black-and-white mumblecore musical — which, Glenn argues, might have been better in color.

Sell Out!“: The first English-language musical from Malaysia to make it to Toronto screens, Yeo Joon Han’s delightful corporate satire has enough mirth and invention for three features. Don’t feel self-conscious when the karaoke lyrics come on; they’re there for you!

And don’t forget “Kings of Pastry”, which is playing an exclusive run at the Lightbox this week. And the Toronto Underground Cinema has a pretty nice series on English Canadian cinema going through Sunday; “Hard Core Logo” and “Pontypool” are screening tonight, so if you’ve already seen “Black Swan” you might want to catch those.

3 thoughts on “Places, Everyone!”

  1. Short of Portman’s character actually transforming into a full-fledged black swan, I don’t see how the film could have gotten any crazier.

  2. While the movie is very surreal, it’s also sort of predictably surreal, if that makes sense. It follows the template of films like Repulsion, Persona, and Perfect Blue very closely. The story is very linear and, in the end, everything makes clear, explanable sense. There’s very little ambiguity about what happens.

    I liked the movie a lot, but I have to agree that I wish Aronofsky had gone crazier with it. That would probably have been commercial suicide, though.

    Say what you will about the folly of The Fountain, Aronofsky went for broke in that one and didn’t filter his ideas for anyone or anything. It was a much riskier, more daring film than Black Swan, which ultimately plays things pretty safe. Black Swan is certainly a *better* movie than The Fountain, but I did find myself waiting for it to really turn batshit insane, and felt a little disappointed when it didn’t.

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