The digital deal of the day over at Amazon today is the Oscar-winning film Black Swan, which is available for rental for only $.99. The film, is directed by Darren Aronofsky, and stars Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis.
This deal is valid all this weekend through Sunday, June 12, 2011, until midnight PST. Once you activate the rental through the Amazon Instant Video service, you’ll have access to the movie for 24 hours. If you’re interested in purchasing the digital version, the cost is $14.99.
Also, if you’d like to own a physical copy of Black Swan, the Blu-ray is available for $21.99 while the DVD is $12.99. Both editions are part of Amazon’s “Buy This DVD and Watch it Instantly” program “” purchase the physical copy and you get the film as a FREE digital rental you can watch immediately while you watch for the DVD or Blu-ray purchase to be delivered.
At the 83rd Annual Academy Awards tonight, The Kings Speech, which lead the pack with 12 nominations, tied for most wins with Inception, both nabbing 4 awards each.
While Inception snagged mainly technical awards (sound, visual effects, and cinematography), The Kings Speech won the big prize — Best Picture — along with a Best Actor statue for star Colin Firth, Best Director for Tom Hooper, and Best Original Screenplay for David Seidler.
Coming in third for most wins was The Social Network, which most notably grabbed the Oscar for Best Original Score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.
While True Grit had a whopping 10 nominations, it scored no wins tonight, while The Fighter won two awards and Black Swan just one — Natalie Portman for Best Actress.
The Social Network over the past couple months has been unabashedly accepting every award and congratulatory remark that has been sent its way. It seemed the film was determined to be held in eminence amongst other films that are in awards contention this year. Since the film opened in early October it has been on an irrepressible ascent, exceeding every other film in critical acclaim (according to the online site Metacritic it scored an impressive 95).
Satisfaction endured on the film’s behalf all the way up until this past Tuesday morning, where David Fincher‘s Facebook film tallied a total of 8 Oscar nominations. You may say such a particular outing is absolutely superb. But taking into consideration the mentality of students attending Harvard University (like those in The Social Network), 8 is somewhat of a disappointment when you can have many more. Such students anticipate nothing but the best. Given the multitude of accolades The Social Network received, a measly 8 nominations simply cannot be adequately embraced.
Trying to figure out the themes that the 2010 year in cinema gave to us is not a hard task at all. If anything, this year’s best films had an irrepressible surge that impelled them all toward themes focusing on alienation, instability, conformity, and deception, all different routes that lead to the same destination: at an arrival of self-discovery.
Below are my picks for the Top 30 films of 2010, all of which, in one way or another, had characters that had to confront the danger that was permeating their existence, as a bullfighter bravely confronts an oncoming bull. This confrontational theme knew of no cinematic boundaries. It hit hard in Toy Story 3 and The Kids Are All Right just as hard as it did in Winter’s Bone and Black Swan. It did not matter if Andy had to confront college or if Nina had to pierce a deep wound into her own being just so an answer could be derived. All characters in all 30 films were just as much bothered with universal issues as they were with personal demons. King’s Speech demonstrates this as King George VI has to face WWII and his stammering issue. And the directors of these films did not revile such themes, as they satisfyingly indulged in them by creating unwelcoming atmosphere fostering trite and brutal themes and making them into something glowingly artistic.
Black Swan Directed by Darren Aronofsky
Starring: Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel, Barbara Hershey
Release date: December 19, 2010
Combine the wonderful sounds of orchestral music with the delicate beauty and undulating movements of the ballerinas along with the indelible images that cinema provides for us and we get a truly ambitious film that is a mixture of poetry, sex, feverish dream, nightmares, and psychology. But most impressively it is an innovative fusion — of cinema and ballet — that has been rarely seen in the film medium. Here is one of the most complete films in recent memory. A film well in accord with what makes a film great, ingraining in its foundation a surplus of great performances, visionary direction, emotional music, and surprises emerging from a unique script that is not afraid to approach the unconventional.
And this unconventionality begins when Black Swan perverts all things good that usually have a tendency to comfort us, such as music, ballet, purity, motherhood, and desires. The film is, gloriously but disconcertingly, a catastrophic assault on all of these things, but more emphasis is shown on dethroning elegance from the world of ballet and perverting this world’s time-honored brilliance into something abhorrent. It is easy to accentuate gracefulness. Leave that for lesser talent. The task comes when one needs to find abhorrence in something already made beautiful and elevate it so that it drowns out beauty. Only then will one have fulfilled their duty as a visionary artist. Director Darren Aronofsky does just that by not wanting to embrace the easiness of replicating world class art (the ballet Swan Lake by Tchaikovsky). Instead he eradicates its original beauty and radiance, creating a film alteration of Swan Lake that is equally as stunning. Black Swan is an uncompromising masterpiece.