If you're a serious movie goer like myself sometimes you will go to movies knowing that certain performances are sure to be nominated for awards. One such performance and movie is Natalie Portman in "Black Swan".
I knew well in advance that this movie was about the ballet and honestly I have no interest in that craft but a great performance is a great performance and Portman is outstanding. She will be nominated for an academy award in the best female category and likely will be the odds on favorite to win.
Portman plays a young ballerina who desperately wants the lead role in Swan Lake. There is obviously something unbalanced about the person Portman is playing and it's heightened by her mother played by Barbara Hershey who is so similar to the role that Piper Laurie played in the movie "Carrie".
The mother daughter interaction is fraught with tension and you can slowly see Portman unraveling.
Mila Kunis plays both a fellow dancer who is a rival of Portman and they have some very close scenes together; and when I say close I mean CLOSE....as in between the sheets. Kunis has come a far way from TV's "That 70's Show". She was great in "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" and her movie future is bright.
"Black Swan" moves slowly and shows the pressures of being at the top of the ballerina chain and the breakdowns that sometimes go along with it. Some critics have described this movie to that of "The Wrestler" in that the pressures of the craft can effect you in so many ways. I wont tell you what happens to Portman at the end of the movie but I will tell you that her performance and her dancing are both brilliant.
I know I will probably never go to the ballet in person but I am glad that I saw this movie and it was a good one with first class acting. It is a dark and somewhat disturbing movie but I give it a home run - three and a half stars.