Natalie Portman has been getting all the good press from this film and her well-talked about transformation in this film got me really interested to try to get a copy of this film since its release date coincides with the Metro Manila Film Festival which basically only shows Filipino films until the second week of January. Plus, since its premiere at the 67th Venice International Film Festival –the film got me all excited to catch it with critics saying that she’s definitely a front runner for this year’s Academy Awards.
The premise revolves around the production of Swan Lake by a very prestigious Ballet Company who is looking for its pool of talents a new star to play both the White and the Black Swan. Nina played by Portman perfectly embodied the White Swan but couldn’t seem to be as sensual as newcomer Lily played by Mila Kunis who is also competing for the lead. In the process of the production, Nina find herself growing darker with symptoms of psychosis. In the end, Nina was able to perfectly dance as the Swan Queen both playing the white and the black swan but was ultimately drawn to her evil alter-ego.
Natalie Portman sure transformed as a Ballet dancer in this film. She exudes that nice and rather vulnerable persona of Nina. The scene where she stabs her alter-ego was just perfection and the dance rehearsals are all a joy to watch because you could really feel her surging emotions. I have to clap after she performed the final dance.
Mila Kunis was exemplary as well showing strong command on screen. I like her attitude as the cool, sensual Lily. I’ve to say though, that I was very much impressed with Barbara Hershey who played Nina’s Mom. She’s just amazing! Her scenes are one of the best in the film – and the creepiest as well if I may just say.
I have to agree with most critics that this is Natalie’s strongest performance to date (After Closer, I think). She definitely delivered the goods and her portrayal is just beyond. You’d get chills at some of her scenes because her acting was really piercing. I still place her though as a very good contender for the Oscar Best Actress since I already have my favorite for this award.
Another great film from Mr. Aronofsky.
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Starring: Natalie Portman, Vincent Cassel, Mila Kunis, Barbara Hershey, Winona Ryder