Darren Aronofsky's "Black Swan" - Mania.com

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Darren Aronofsky's "Black Swan"

December 13, 2010

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As Darren Aronofsky's "Black Swan" gains popular awareness, it's not unusual to hear: "Oh, you mean the psycho ballerinas movie". Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis star in the psycho-sexual thriller as said psycho ballerinas. Aronofsky has crafted a gut-wrenching film of disturbed metamorphosis, tragic repression and visceral beauty. In other words, it's a radiant film that's effectively difficult to watch.

"Black Swan" wants us to churn in our seats, giggle nervously and watch this metamorphosis in awe. It burns a brilliant fire to which we are irresistibly drawn, but must keep a distance from its radiance. I'll come right out and say that Aronofsky deserves a Best Director nomination, as does Portman deserve Best Actress and a Best Supporting nod to Barbara Hershey.

Two Fox Searchlight films were bookends at the 2010 Denver Film Festival: Danny Boyle's "127 Hours" and Aronofsky's "Black Swan". Fox Searchlight featured the directors at Firstshowing.net, as Boyle exuberantly praised Aronofsky's "The Wrestler", which is his companion piece to "Black Swan". It resonates deeply with Boyle's notion that audiences ought to experience cinema by "feeling pinned... trapped... visceral..."

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