Monday, December 20, 2010

The Swan Went Wide

Over the weekend, Darren Aronofsky's mad and crazy Black Swan went wide across the country, and the results were good, not great, not bad...okay pretty good, yes, sure, let's go with that.  Playing on 959 screens, with a screen average of $8,600, the film earned $8.3 million over the weekend.  It might appear to be a mixed bag, considering the bang-up numbers the film posted in limited release, but a #7 ranking for a Red Shoes on acid trip is quite amazing; this isn't a happy, little crowd-pleaser, but a rattling, tense melding of genre style chills with mad auteur-ish flourishing.

What surprises me however, is the consistence dominance of Black Swan in the awards derby, especially considering some of the more polarizing notices the non-subtle film has attracted.  The dominance of Natalie Portman's awardage is the film easiest get, but that the film has merited so much behind her performance is fairly spectacular-- the 11 nominations from the Broadcast Film Critics Association, the 4 Golden Globe nominations, 3 Screen Actors Guild nominations, and technical achievements from various critics societies.  It's shocking that this crazy directorial fantasia has thus far achieved such mainstream plaudits.  The fact that surprises such as Mila Kunis' role earned Globe and SAG nominations proves the film was seen and admired in more areas than expected.

In an effort from Fox Searchlight Pictures, they've struck while the movie was hot, and it's certainly hot, especially while breaking limited release records in it's first two weeks.  Now, here's the biggest test-- the critical elite have had they're say (and some of what they've said is less than stellar), the cool coastal cinephilles have spoken up (this film was always going to be a hit with hip, young, art-house crowd), now a real challenge-- the populist.  While the cynic in me predicts a cold, sad couple of months ahead for the brainy, nervy ballet freak out, but I'm hopeful it will branch out and hook those who might not be the target audience for this.  It's still lost in my dreams.

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