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Black Swan

Black Swan

Director: Darren Aronofsky
Writer: Mark Heyman, Andres Heinz
Starring: Natalie Portman, Vincent Cassel, Barbra Hershey,
Review By: Griff

Wow, not what I expected. Black Swan is more of a psychological horror film then anything else. The movie plays out like a nightmare that you can’t wake up from. This movie reminded me of some early Polanski films like, Rosemary’s Baby or Repulsion. (both excellent films if you have not seen them.)

Natalie Portman plays Nina, a ballerina who finally gets her big break dancing the lead in Swan Lake. Everything  isn’t as rosy as it seems however, and we quickly learn that the stress and the pressure are taking their toll on Nina’s mental state.

Along the way she is tortured by her overly demeaning director Thomas (played by an exceptional Vincent Cassel.), her overbearing mother (Barbra Hershey), and a newcomer who is anxious to take her spot (Mila Kunis). These characters press on Nina’s fragile psyche until she literally cracks before our eyes.

Everything about this film makes you feel uneasy. From the cinematography to the music to the acting. It all comes together to create a dark, brooding, atmosphere that makes you feel like you are descending into the darkness with Nina.

Natalie Portman is definitely the stand out here and her oscar is well deserved but the entire cast is terrific. I thought Vincent Cassel was a standout and Winona Ryder put together a nice performance as the veteran dancer who is being forced into early retirement.

This movie should not be missed. Don’t let the ballet theme here throw you off. It is as much about ballet as Dario Argento’s classic Suspiria. Ballet is merely backdrop for what is a teriffic psychological horror film.

This one get 3 guys from me.

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