50. Cuticle Cutting
Movie: Black Swan (2010)
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Stars: Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel, Winona Ryder, Barbara Hershey
For an Academy Award-winning movie, Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan is rather sadistic in spots. Way before the film's hallucinogenic, full-on freakout third act, Natalie Portman's mentally tormented ballerina subjects her body to some cruel and unusual punishment—well, in her mind, at least. Still, the scene in which she poorly tends to a ripped cuticle isn't any less traumatic for its possible disconnect from reality.
As far as the audience is concerned, we're still watching Portman pull the fleshy finger piece downward…as in, all the way down to the middle of said finger, like it's Polly-O string cheese. —MB