|Posted by Jonathan Leithold-Patt on December 10, 2010 at 4:56 PM|
BLACK SWAN ***1/2
IDEA: Nina, a New York ballet dancer, wins the ultimate role of the Swan Queen in Swan Lake. But for how long can she maintain her grasp on reality with all the pressure mounting around her?
BLURB: In Black Swan, Darren Aronofsky visualizes a bruised, unbalanced psyche caught between inadvertent sadomasochism and the ecstasies of self-pleasure. In his world of a tormented ballerina abusing her body for her craft, and losing her mind because of it, those two seemingly dichotomous notions become – painfully – one and the same. Natalie Portman embodies skittish unrest as Nina, a fragile dancer unraveling under the pressures of her art and with no where to turn. As her world starts to become upended by the threat of replacement and the fatal desire for perfection, the film becomes more unhinged, tapping into territory surreal and grotesquely horrific. The typical symbolism involving black and white, dualism, and psychosexual doppelgangers is well employed, even if its inclusion in the film’s first half comes off as overly obvious. But it’s in the last 20 minutes, a breathless, feverish descent into Nina’s darkest psychoses as she consummates the climactic act of Swan Lake, where the movie reaches its most glorious depths; this is the work of an artist who knows what it’s like to commit oneself in full form to their craft, to the point where they uncover parts of themselves they never even knew existed.