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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

BLACK SWAN

By D.E.Levine

CHOSEN AS ONE OF "THE CONTENDERS" BY MOMA

Director: Darren Aronofsky
Writer: Mark Heyman, Andres Heinz and John J. McLauglin (screenplay); Andres Heinz (story)
Cast: Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Winona Ryder, Vincent Cassel, Ksenia Solo, Sebastian Stan, Barbara Hershey, Toby Hemingway, Janet Montgomery, Christopher Gartin, Kristina Anapau, Marcia Jean Kurtz, Adriene Couvillion, Deborah Offner, Shaun O'Hagan, Marty Krzywonos et al.
Producers: Scott Franklin, Mike Medavoy, Arnold Messer and Brian Oliver
Executive Producers: Jon Avnet, Brad Fischer, Peter Fruchtman, Ari Handel, Jennifer Roth, Rick Schwartz, Tyler Thompson and David Thwaites
Co-producer: Jerry Fruchtman
Original Music: Clint Mansell
Running Time: 103 Minutes
Country of Origin: United States
Language: English
Genre: Drama, Thriller

This is a fascinating psychological thriller about a young ballerina whose life takes some strange twists after she is selected to play the lead in a New York City production of Swan Lake.

Following the ballet dancers as they rehearse and plot to achieve more prominent status, the Black Swan gives us insight into the machinations of the ballet business (and make no mistake about the fact that despite the dedication by dancers and teachers it is very much a business).

Fundraisers are successful by being charming and selecting the dancers that not only fill the dancing requirements but also satisfy the political needs of the organization.

There's jealousy and backstabbing, bulimia and starvation, and a multitude of other physical and psychological problems.

Natalie Portman seems to have overcome some of her poorer choices of roles and seems admirably suited for the role of Nina, a technically proficient dancer who strives for perfection.

Barbara Hershey, as her overbearing mother who gave up her own dance career to raise her daughter, certainly bears noticeable responsibility for many of her daughter's problems.

The casting and acting are strong and the moves along quickly without ever lagging or becoming boring.

Black Swan appears to be a gem among the films of 2010.