As fate would have it, I just saw Darren Aronofsky's BLACK SWAN earlier today (READ ARROW'S REVIEW HERE). Still percolating in my mind, my initial reaction is that I absolutely loved it. In particular, I loved the seamless weave of high and low culture...the juxtaposition of high-art vs. lowbrow trash. I mean, when you have Natalie Portman beating off in one scene and gracious dance moves set to Tchaikovsky in the next...well that's f*ckin' aces!
Anyway, before I ramble into a full-blown review, something needs to be said about Portman's magnificent performance, which is really quite a joy to watch. She's almost unrecognizable in some of these scenes (the weight loss, partially), definitely deserving of all her award season accolades. I haven't seen all the contenders, but at this point, I hope she wins. Check out the lovely lady as soon as the flick hits a theater near you...in the meantime, a fractured look at the "Swan Queen's" pretty face is featured in a new poster for the film (above and below). Give homey's quote a read as well, 'tis quite accurate.
BLACK SWAN follows the story of Nina (Portman), a ballerina in a New York City ballet company whose life, like all those in her profession, is completely consumed with dance. She lives with her retired ballerina mother Erica (Barbara Hershey) who zealously supports her daughter’s professional ambition. When artistic director Thomas Leroy (Vincent Cassel) decides to replace prima ballerina Beth MacIntyre (Winona Ryder) for the opening production of their new season, Swan Lake, Nina is his first choice.
But Nina has competition: a new dancer, Lily (Mila Kunis), who impresses Leroy as well. Swan Lake requires a dancer who can play both the White Swan with innocence and grace, and the Black Swan, who represents guile and sensuality. Nina fits the White Swan role perfectly but Lily is the personification of the Black Swan. As the two young dancers expand their rivalry into a twisted friendship, Nina begins to get more in touch with her dark side with a recklessness that threatens to destroy her.
BLACK SWAN does encore business this Friday and next.