Black Swan

Black Swan is a movie about mental illness set against the back drop of ballet. Natalie Portman's portrayal of perfectionist obsessed ballet star is at times hard to watch and a disturbing to step into a world of self doubt and loathing.  We follow Nina as she gets cast in the lead of Swan Lake and has to find her inner vixen to become the Black Swan.  Having to deal with a mother with control issues (Barbara Hershey, as the creepiest show mom ever), a ballet director with his own issues, and the jealousy of the other dancers, Nina doesn't stand a chance.

Rarely has mental illness on screen been so hard to watch. When I wasn't closing my eyes, I found myself unable to look away. The movie blends music, visuals, sound, and good acting together in a way that I didn't realize how tense I was until the end when I could breath. I think the entire audience felt the same way.

Black Swan is uneven at times and could have been a bit shorter. Visually the movie is stunning and the director deserves his award nominations. Those going to see a love story between two ballerinas will be disappointed because Black Swan really doesn't go there. I have to warn you, nail biting is not a figure of speech in this movie.  Nina really has it all when it comes to being mental and it's almost too much for one movie.

So who's this movie for? If you are the art house regular - check!  This movie is for you. Ballet fan? Sure, you're in. Natalie Portman fan, you too. Where do I fall in? I'm here for you this movie week!