Saturday, December 25, 2010

Not Many Lifts in Startling 'Black Swan'

Be forewarned: "Black Swan" is a Hitchcockian thriller about a dancer's pursuit of perfection that will leave you exhausted, a shade dazed and wondering what in the hell hit you between the eyes.

Remember that this is Director Darren Aronofsky's companion to his haunting "The Wrestler," an equally spooky piece about human endurance in the quest for something just beyond reach. "Black Swan" takes its title literally: it is a dark, haunting, fluid, beautiful, grotesque, gentle, violent story of a young dancer growing into the challenging role of a career, one that is threatening her physical and mental health and winning on both counts.

Natalie Portman gives the performance of her young career as Nina, the tiny, breakable perfectionist in search of a soul to go with her technique.Vincent Cassell, as the damanding director; Winona Rider, as the recently discharged and aging prima; and Mila Kunis, as Lilly, a lively anti-Nina who tries to befriend her are stellar in support.

The line between the reality of Nina's preparation and her fragile sanity is thin and often disappears into madness, violence and the unthinkable as the film hurtles toward a climactic finish that will simply leave you open-mouthed and worn out.

Portman, of course, will be nominated for an Oscar for this performance and my guess is that Aronofsky will, as well.

The movie is stunning, but don't go for a lift. These dancers don't do lifts.

1 comment:

  1. My son and his girlfriend went to see this and came home looking just as you described. They were dazed. They couldn't even really talk about it.