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Film Festival Today

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Film Review: Black Swan

Written by: FFT Webmaster | December 19th, 2010

***1/2

Black Swan

Director Darren Aronofsky tells the story of a ballerina with all the weapons in his artistic arsenal.

Played by Natalie Portman, Nina is a confused, sensitive and wholly committed artist whose virtuosity is pushed to the edge by her mentor, Thomas, played impeccably by the great French actor Vincent Cassel. Nina dances a fine line between reality and fantasy, and, in the tradition of “The Red Shoes” provides a gothic horror show offstage.  Riddled with doppelgangers, the story follows the “Swan Lake” ballet in a gradual progression leading us to marvel at the tortured artist. Shot with a free-ranging camera the images generate a kinetic picture of the dance process.  Adding to the complexity is a new member of the group named Lilly ( a wonderful Mila Kunis)who becomes Nina’s friend, confidante, lover(yes, lesbianism) and rival. Wynona Ryder plays Beth, the over the hill dancer who’s cruelly cut loose.  And Nina’s mother, Erica(Barbara Hershey)in a tour de force performance grasping for control of her confused daughter as if she were a little girl. Another dizzying array of the images of the vicissitudes of life provides a  creepy milieu which will keep you mesmerized but slightly disappointed as the curtain closes. R rated and 103 minutes.

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