Film Review: Black Swan

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A review of 'Black Swan.'(Photo: Fox Searchlight)
A review of 'Black Swan.'(Photo: Fox Searchlight)

Black Swan

Starring: Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel, Barbara Hershey, and Winona Ryder

Director: Darren Aronofsky

Genre: Thriller

Rating: R for for strong sexual content, disturbing violent images, language and some drug use

Runtime: 1 hour 50 minutes

Rico: Pay attention to the MPAA ‘R’ rating; This is a caution for all those youngsters studying ballet and their parents.

Joyce: Boy, is this not a beautiful dance film, as one would suspect. It’s a supernatural thriller set in the world of New York City ballet. No little dancers should see this enigmatic film.

Rico: “The Black Swan” is about a ballerina (Natalie Portman) who finds herself in a tense situation with a rival (Mila Kunis) and her ballet master/director of the company, played by Vincent Cassel. Cassel is usually cast as a villain, and is here, as well.

Joyce: In this film, you can’t be sure about what you are seeing. This veteran ballerina, played brilliantly by Portman, has severe mental problems, including hallucinations, so you’re not sure what is real or unreal.

Rico: It’s interesting to note that Portman did most of her own dancing on film.

Joyce: The cast is excellent, with totally believable performances by Cassel and Barbara Hershey, the lead’s demanding and overpowering mother.

Rico: If you’re looking for a behind-the-scenes view of Swan Lake, you’ll probably be disappointed. This is a story about the difficulties demanded of a prima ballerina.

Joyce: This was definitely hard to watch for me. Though very well done, I would never choose to see it a second time. ***1/2

Rico: It’s a tough film to watch, but I’ll still give it  ***1/2.