“Black Swan” director Darren Aronofsky was up early Tuesday morning, but not to listen in to the Oscar nominations. He was playing Legos with his 4-year-old when his mom called and told him that not only was his movie nominated for best picture, but he was nominated for director and Natalie Portman was nominated for her lead role in the film.
“Black Swan,” an unconventional film combining classical ballet with some horror and psychological thriller elements, was seen by some as too edgy of a movie to win much notice from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, let alone the general public. But the film has become a box-office hit and now an awards contender too.
“While we were making the film, it wasn't our intention” to try to snag awards, Aronofsky said. “We were out there trying to make a scary film. People call it a psychosexual horror film, which I don't think is typical Oscar fare.”
Aronofsky’s previous movie, “The Wrestler,” garnered Oscar nominations for lead actor Mickey Rourke and supporting actress Marisa Tomei, but Aronofsky himself has never been nominated in the director category.
“It's funny, I grew up watching the Oscars,” he said, “But I never thought I was that type of filmmaker.”
As “Black Swan” has become a bit of a cultural phenomenon, it’s come in for some ribbing on TV shows like “Saturday Night Live” and “30 Rock.” Aronofsky said he’s not worried about a little more joking about it during the Oscar broadcast, which will be hosted by James Franco and Anne Hathaway.
“I’m always flattered to be mocked,” he said. “I hope James Franco and Anne Hathaway take their shots at us.”
-- Steven Zeitchik
Photo: Natalie Portman and Darren Aronofsky at the Palm Springs International Film Festival this month. Credit: Dan Steinberg / Associated Press