The antidote to “Black Swan”?

Today, I saw “Black Swan.”  It was the first theatre-movie I’ve seen in almost a year.  (Last year it was “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” a bit more uplifting.)

“Black Swan” disturbed and engrossed me, though I’d seen Pi and so I knew this film would be no lighthearted romp.  Natalie Portman (whom I’ve loved to watch, ever since “The Professional“) was impressive.  So was Mila Kunis, who was familiar and I trying to place, when the box office guy said, “She’s from ‘That 70s Show.'”  So many things to ponder about this film, and I’m still pondering.  I loved the use of black, white, and grey, with only a little pink shining through at times.  (Oh, yes, and that really important bit of red.)  Through the whole film, I held my breath a lot, only realizing how tense I was as the credits rolled.  So many things…an interesting sort of Hollywood lineage with points on the timeline: Barbara Hershey, Winona Rider, and Natalie Portman…and Barbara Hershey’s role, a study in how not to raise a daughter, despite one’s own extinguished dreams.  (Eeek.)

So tonight, as an antidote to the snakebite of “Black Swan,” I feel compelled to watch at least a little of Altman’s somewhat overlooked ballet film, “The Company.”   “The Company,” which I saw years ago at the same beloved Little Art Theatre (where I saw the movie last year and today), has held a warm spot in my heart.  I own the DVD.  Neve Campbell and James Franco are sweet, and it’s Altman, for crying out loud.  It’s just endearing.  Some friends with whom I saw it were not as impressed, essentially saying there’s not much there there, and maybe they’re right.  But I was charmed by it.  (See it, if only for Malcolm McDowell wearing yellow, babies.)

Maybe it will smooth out some of the rough jagged I’m still feeling in the wake of “Black Swan.”