By: Jim Weekes
Rating: 10 out of 10
Director Darren Aronofsky’s (The Wrestler, Requiem For a Dream) latest film, Black Swan take the nitty gritty reality of “The Wrestler” and twists it together with the insanity of Requiem For a Dream and The Fountain and the result is something extraordinary.
The film itself reveals some of the dirtier sides of professional ballet like The Wrestler did with wrestling. The twist here comes with the main protagonist Nina (Natalie Portman), which is the performance of her career and I will shout, scream and kick if Portman doesn’t win the Oscar for best actress. But the incredible acting doesn’t stop there. Some other noteworthy performances are Vincent Cassel as the perverted and obsessed ballet company leader, Barbara Hershey as Nina’s creepy and overprotective mother, and the small but riveting role of Beth Macintyre played by Winona Ryder. This is a film of terrific performances and not a single person falters.
The cinematography and direction scream Darren Aronofsky, and the camera angles are dizzying and quick and packed with an extreme amount of tension. The film itself is a limited release, and it is certainly more terrifying and thrilling than any publicized and high-grossing horror film to be released in the last decade.
The film itself doesn’t play on heavy dialogue but more on tense facial shots and body language, much like a ballet plays out in real life. At the end you will be stunned, satisfied and begging to see it again. It will make you question what’s real, and what’s fake. It will also make you cringe, squirm, jump, and gasp with horrified delight.
Everything Aronofsky does is brilliant in some way, but Black Swan” may just be his masterpiece. This is certainly on my list of top 3 films of the year, and Miss Natalie Portman, and Darren Aronofsky have my vote come time of the Academy Awards.