The Swan and things that are left unsaid

My new year’s decision (that’s subtly different to a ‘resolution’) to see more films, sooner after their release, isn’t going particularly well so far – I’ve still not seen The King’s Speech [though have begun a campaign to get people to correctly use the apostrophe within its title] and now it looks like everyone I know saw it the weekend I was having to work in Doncaster. Hmph.

It’s therefore unsurprising that when my Dad asked me last night if I’d seen Black Swan, my response was in the negative. However, I was able to respond that I’d read an article in the Guardian, heard about it on Wittertainment and spoken with friends (ok, a friend) who had seen it. When I mentioned our national newspaper of choice, he said, “Oh yes, I read the article in the Guardian that Hadley Freeman wrote…”

[Incidentally, my Dad is quite the Hadley Freeman fan – writing style, obviously. He makes a point of reading the weekly ‘Ask Hadley’ column and is therefore remarkably knowledgeable about women’s fashion. Well, kind of.]

Those three dots say a lot. We had both read the article in question, but left its subject matter unspoken. I’m not sure how best to describe it without writing words that will get me picked up by totally the wrong people on Google. Basically, Hadley was suggesting that because a certain, rather intimate act featured in three key films of the year – Black Swan, The Kids are Alright & Blue Valentine – it made them Oscar contenders. It was this suggestion that aroused my suspicions that Black Swan really wasn’t the innocent ballet movie some might think it would be, a suspicion that was confirmed by subsequent reviews.

Anyway, this conversation established that both me and Dad knew what the film was about and who should and should not watch it – and he proceeded to regale me of the tale of when one of his colleagues watched it last week. Let’s put it this way, it’s not really the right film to make into a family night out in honour of your mother’s birthday, taking with you siblings and two sets of teenage sons. There are films you don’t want to watch with your parents and then there’s films you don’t want to watch with your parents and your offspring!

Black Swan really has caused controversy in my little world. I’ve now heard one friend rant on three separate occassions about why it should be an 18 not a 15. (Though, in her defence once was on the phone, once in person and another at dinner with friends.) In fact, despite my warnings the afternoon before she saw it, I still had a midnight voicemail from her, detailing what a traumatising experience it was! Thus, I feel I need to see it soon – any takers?

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