10 Ways Darren Aronofsky Basically Remade The Wrestler In Black Swan
10. Character Study
A character study is defined as "a work of fiction in which the delineation of the central character's personality is more important than the plot." They are often low-key, sombre affairs, intimate and brooding. They also demand centred performances from the lead and supporting cast; rooting the picture with realism and humanity. Mickey Rourke and Natalie Portman both delivered in this regard, earning BAFTA victories and Oscar nominations (the latter won the award as well). In The Wrestler, Rourke (in what can be described as a career-defining performance) is Randy "the Ram" Robinson, a pro-wrestler struggling to come to grips with the realisation he can no longer do what he does best. The veteran actor is both electrifying and gracious in his role and only missed out on the Academy Award because Sean Penn turned up with a knockout turn as Harvey Milk. Black Swan analyses its protagonist in a different light. Portman plays Nina, a ballerina in a New York ballet company, who is cast as the Swan Queen in artistic director Thomas' (Vincent Cassel) new take on the old classic, Swan Lake. Aronofsky explores her devolution into madness, struggling with the spite from retiring dancer, Beth (Winona Ryder), and the presence of newcomer, Lily (Mila Kunis), as she desperately seeks to perfect the combined role of the White and Black Swan. In both films we experience obsession, compulsion and internal struggle through the eyes of the protagonists, as they placed amidst a series of events that seek to test and mould their personality before the culmination of the movie.