Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel | R |
Ballerina Nina Sayers (Portman) is so wildly unbalanced it’s a wonder she can stay en pointe. Nina is talented but rigid, says her company’s director (Cassel). So if she wants the lead role in Swan Lake, she’s going to have to get out of her head, stop imagining that the new girl (Kunis) is out to get her (unless, of course, she is) and burst through her own sexual repression to embody the passionate black swan. But will she have to trade sanity for the spotlight? Director Darren Aronofsky brilliantly lets Black Swan hover between thriller and camp, tossing in garish flourishes more commonly seen in horror films, but keeping the action tautly restrained. He also parks his camera so close to Portman’s porcelain face, one fears she’ll bump into it and shatter. But when a performance is this delicate, this special, the desire to capture every tremble is entirely within reason.