I did not want to see The Wrestler. I don’t enjoy wrestling and only went to see it with the promise of Wagamama afterward. What I saw was not a film about wrestling but a powerful character study that had me gripped for the duration and left me in a happy daze.
Similarly Black Swan is not really about ballet, Darren Aronofsky return with another powerful character study, this time all the more tense, deranged, fragile and more than a little sexy. Like all great films it is incredibly involving, enveloping you in the film and keeping you on edge for the full 100 minutes.
Natalie Portman is at her best as the frail ballerina who gradually finds her confidence and loses herself in the process. Portman is no longer anyone’s dream girl, instead an actress on top of her game. Vincent Cassel and Mila Kunis offer able support, Kunis as the rival free-spirit ballerina and Cassel as the man who helps Portman to achieve perfection.
Views are split about whether Black Swan is a cinematic masterpiece or an over-theatrical mistake. I am firmly in the first camp. I’m sure it has its flaws, but I was too engrossed to notice.
Black Swan is on general release on 11th February 2011, so you can make your mind up for yourself. In the meantime you have our trailer dissection to study.