Black Swan

In just a few short films Darren Aronofsky has risen to the top of his game as a director to watch. After ‘Pi’ he woke everyone up with the amazingly twisted ‘Requiem for a Dream’, minor blipped with the ambitious but mental ‘Fountain’ and returned to form with ‘The Wrestler’ garnering praise and awards for its star Rourke and the director himself. Now he returns with the companion piece to this in the form of ‘Black Swan’ a film set in the cutthroat world of professional ballet and like its predecessor it is sure to gain even more praise for Aronofsky and lead Portman. This film is simply stunning, from the attention to detail to the acting, the choreography to the claustrophobic camera work the film grabs you and pulls you into the world that’s been created around this performance of ‘Swan Lake’. I am not a ballet fan but I found myself on the edge of my seat as the passion, rivalry and madness fuel the ever decreasing spiral to the films conclusion. Every performance adds to the tense, uneasy feel that is superbly juxtaposed with the grace and grandeur of the ballet pieces, from Kunis as Portman’s rival dancer to Barbara Hershey as her overbearing and slightly disturbing mother, each fractured piece adds up to make the beautiful whole. But this being Aronofsky you know you don’t get off lightly and every deep dark aspect of this world is explored in all its g(l)ory. I don’t want to give too much away but if you like gritty realism, gripping drama and stunning cinematography then you should see this film, definitely one of my films of next year already, a masterstroke in filmmaking.  

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