Sunday, January 09, 2011
Supporting Actress 2010: Mila Kunis in Black Swan.
This be my entry for Stinky Lulu's Class of 2010 Supporting Actress blogathon. Get over there for more Supporting Actress Greatness!
Now, I'mma let you in on a little secret. When I was writing my entry for Supporting Actress, Class of 2008, my brain was telling me to pick Penelope Cruz in Vicky Cristina Barcelona, but my heart was urging me to pick Mila Kunis for Forgetting Sarah Marshall. In the end, I went with my head, though several days later I gave Forgetting Sarah Marshall a re-watch, and I knew that I should have gone with my heart's pick. To semi-atone for my movie-related mistake, I compiled my list of all-round favourite performances from that year, and bunged Miss Kunis at a high position in the list. But I didn't lose too much sleep over the matter, because I knew that, such was her talent and loveliness, that Mila Kunis was sure to come back in future years with a performance of equal, if not higher, calibre. And right I was, because in 2010, she stepped out and turned heads in Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan. And boy, what a performance.
The other thing I thought was terrific about Mila's performance is that she is the perfect foil for Natalie Portman. Although the two may look alike, that is where the similarities end. Portman's Nina is practically still a kind insofar as she's very much a mummy's girl, and her pink bedroom is decorated with stuffed animals. Everything must be neat and in its place and in order; she eats half a grapefruit and a tiny egg for breakfast, ties her hair in an impossibly neat bun, and executes all her dance moves with precision. Lily, on the other hand, doesn't dance badly, but it's definitely more of a "flap her arms about" thing rather than the intense study that Nina regards it with. Part of the intensity of Natalie Portman's performance is how starkly it concentrates with Mila Kunis' casualness. The "hot badass" role could so easily escalate into caricature, but thanks to some astute writing and subtle line-delivery (check Mrs. Family Guy out when says "What, did you have some kind of lezzy wet dream about me!?"), Nina is every bit a real person as the director would like.
Then there's the sex scene. Without giving away too much about the film, I'll simply say "not all is at it seems". But the dedication from both actresses to that scene was terrific, I thought. Their love-making felt authentic, heated, and such was the urgency of the scene that you almost wanted Kunis to go down on Portman as much as their characters did. Haha.
Thus, Mila Kunis in Black Swan is my pick for Supporting Actress Class of 2010. A performance that is by turns sexy, funny, dark and enthralling throughout. I could not take my eyes off her. Get it, Mila.