Monday, January 3, 2011

Black Swan

Starring Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel, and Winona Ryder

Directed by Darren Aronofsky

Release Date: December 3rd, 2010

From the director of The Wrestler and Requiem for a dream, Darren Aronofsky delves into a ballerina's obsession with perfection and the dangers of her pursuit.
All Nina (Portman) wants to be is the finest ballerina in her company, only to play bit parts in every play such as the opening production of Swan Lake. After star ballerina Beth (Rider) is "retired" by director Thomas (Casse), the search is on for a new dancer to play the dual lead roles of the White Swan and the Black Swan; where the White Swan is pure and innocent, the Black Swan is her dark counterpart, the sensual and evil character. However, all Thomas sees Nina as is the White Swan, so extra dedication and effort is required to transform Nina's emotionless dancing into a sensual, dark creature of The Black Swan....

Leave it to Darren Aronofsky to turn the beautiful art of ballet into a macabre dance of intrigue, suspense and paranoia. The movie may throw around similar icons to depict Nina's descent into madness, but I felt that the film did a great job of subtly increasing the disturbing (and shocking) images seen in Nina's terrified story of obsession. If anything, the film makes the simple act of a ballerina dancing on point into an act of terrifying cruelty and pain upon the dancer. Speaking of dancers, both Portman and Kunis are on the top of their game as Nina and Lily, respetively. Portman is stunningly sympathetic as Nina, a woman who is losing her sanity and innocence for the sake of art. Kunis did a fantastic job as Lily, Nina's exact opposite, where Nina is meek and rigid, Lily is wild, passionate, and dangerous.

Black Swan is a dangerously fanstastic movie, but not for the faint of heart.

Rating: * * * * 1/2 of 5

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