Part I: Lily
Part II: Nina
Part III: Beth
Now let's get to what Natalie Portman herself admitted might have been the marketing masterstroke of Black Swan - the scene where Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis have sex.
(Oops! Surely I meant "Where Nina and Lily have sex." I wouldn't have made a typo like that purely for the purpose of attempting to goose the Google hits to my site. Trust me.)
I'll be honest, this is one of those scenes where the writing confused the hell out of me on a first read. I just couldn't see how they were going to commit this to film and not have it come out like a chaotic mess.
The scene starts off with the two of them pawing each other and Lily throwing Nina onto the bed and straddling her. Lily takes off her top and kisses Nina and when Nina opens her eyes "Lily now looks identical. Her DOUBLE. (She goes in and out of looking like her double and like Lily as they continue to make love.)"
Then we're told "Nina flips Lily over, becomes the dominant one (though who is whom becomes very confused.)" After a few agressive moves, there's a brief moment where Nina is alone in bed, masturbating. Then suddenly, Lily is back. Nina climaxes and then two kiss lying side by side, "almost like Nina is kissing a mirror" the script says.
Recall what I said on Monday about Lily's entrance into the film. If you start with the earlier indicators that Lily might be just an aspect of Nina, and then add in the fact that Lily not only turns into Nina in this scene, but then briefly disappears as we see that Nina is merely gratifying herself, you likely draw some conclusions about this scene. Namely, that Lily isn't real at all.
It plays out slightly more simply in the finished film. Nina and Lily go back to the bedroom, but the film restrains itself to just one moment where Lily looks exactly like Nina. I think that's a better shock/scare than if they were constantly switching back and forth, which could be a little too visually busy. Also, removing the jump cut of Nina alone in bed was also likely a wise move. With so much going on in that sequence already, the audience might have trouble processing it, even if it was shot in a way that eased the transition.
The way it plays on screen now, we're left with the impression that Nina might be hallucinating from the drugs that Lily gave her earlier. The brief instant where Lily looks like Nina could just be an expression of her fear that Lily will replace her. It's not until later that it's suggested that the entire sex scene itself was an hallucination, and that feels like better pacing for the clues that Nina isn't all there.
Interestingly the masturbation scene that's in the film isn't in this draft. I have my own theories about why they made it a sequence on its own, but I'd like to see what you guys think. Did you think that scene was gratuitous? Did you think the girl/girl sex scene was gratuitous?
My own summation of the differences between this draft of the script and the finished film would be: "Minor changes, major impact."
Representations and warranties
4 days ago