Thursday, 17 February 2011


"How Nina (Natalie Portman in her best role since Leon) lives such a sheltered life with her over-protective ex-ballerina mother instead of telling her to go do one is one of the few mysteries surrounding this wickedly dark tale. 

When Nina replaces Beth, a talented yet unpredictable dancer (Ryder) for a new production of Swan Lake, her director, Thomas (Cassel), urges her to explore a dark side she never knew existed in order to become both the Swan Queen and the Black Swan. But the pressure of such a role, and the rising ambitions of new arrival Lily (Kunis), pushes Nina towards breaking point, quite literally...

Comparisons have already been made to director Darren Aronofsky's last movie The Wrestler, and the man himself proudly admits that this is a companion piece to the 2008 classic. Yet, forgetting the locations, professions, close-ups and other similarities, Black Swan wins out, just, thanks to a fascinating final third injected with astonishing surrealism and body-horror, lest we forget some mesmerizing dance scenes creating such tension you can't help but think you've just watched a psychological shuddering rather than a drama about warring ballet dancers. 

Brutal, with more chills and look-away moments than the entire Saw franchise (and believable to boot), Black Swan deserves all the plaudits, even if some balletomanes may eventually find it a little too much to swallow - or grand écart, perhaps."

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