I’m not a fan of ballet or most of Daren Aronofsky movies (“Requiem For A Dream” and “The Fountain” were especially tough to watch). But he really outdid himself with “Black Swan”, turning ballet into his own dark twisted world. The star of the show: Natalie Portman, who gives the performance of her career as Nina, a dancer who has to deal with the pressure of playing the swan queen in a New York production of “The Swan Lake”. The company’s director (played by a wonderful Vincent Cassel) is impressed by Nina’s innocence as Odette, the White Swan, but feels she lacks the seductive side required to play Odette’s alter ego, The Black Swan. “Go home and touch yourself” he advises her, as Nina begins to get in touch with her dark side, with disastrous consequences. “Black Swan” is a tense, thrilling, and exhausting film, but it’s also very gripping and quite seductive actually. As long as you agree to tag along for the ride, you won’t know what hit you by the time the credits start rolling. We get to see what she sees, experience what she experiences, and as much as it can be disturbing at times, nothing can prepare you for the final scene, a masterfully crafted climax that only Aronofsky’s twisted imagination could deliver. Portman’s performance is award worthy; Oscar, I hope you’re watching.
Categories: The Twenty-First Century