Black Swan: Movie Review
Cast: Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel, Barbara
Hershey, Winona Ryder
Director: Darren Aronofsky
It's the film which is generating Oscar buzz for Natalie Portman's portrayal
of a ballet dancer.
Set in New York, this latest from The Wrestler director Darren Aronofsky
follows a ballet company which is about to put on a new version of Swan
Portman plays Nina Sayers, a control freak of a dancer who's pushed herself
as far as she can go for her role; with an obsessive desire to be part of the
new production, she's gone right to the physical edge.
In charge of casting, company director Thomas Leroy (Cassel) decides to
replace Winona Ryder's Beth MacIntyre with Sayers for the lead of the Swan
Queen, believing Nina can push herself further than before.
As Sayers starts to work on loosening up and getting in touch with her darker
side, she forms a friendship with fellow dancer Lily (Mila Kunis). But as the
show draws ever closer and she tries to channel the deeper more disturbed Black
Swan, Nina's world starts to fall apart amid jealousy and paranoia.
Black Swan is astounding, confounding, audacious, confusing and compelling
viewing in equal parts.
It's a dizzying head trip of a film at times - and with an awards worthy
performance from Natalie Portman as the dancer on the edge. The swings as the
psycho drama plays out are incredible and the compelling performance delivers in
spades. She captures the fragility and the delicateness of the physicality of
the dancing role as well as the mental tone too.
For example, the girl who breaks down in the toilet after being
selected telling her mother on the phone in an almost babyish voice "He picked
me, mommy" is a stark contrast to the ballerina who takes to the stage at the
Black Swan is one of those films which you'll have to watch multiple times to
pick up on everything - thanks to the masterful web woven by Aronofsky.
Everyone's the star of this film; from a good turn by Winona Ryder as the
princess of the company who's on the way out to the impressive performances of
Mila Kunis and Vincent Cassel. Each does more than enough to feed the paranoia
of the ego as well as propel the drama along apace.
But it's the odd moments, the nightmarish windows into Sayer's fragile soul
which catch you unawares and deliver the WTF emotional punches as the horror
moments appear unexpectedly.
Outrageous, insane and yet incredibly mesmerizing and impressive, Black Swan
is an enigma, a riddle wrapped up in a deeply disturbing and tightly woven
It's also bound for great things.