Black Swan

This is a ballet film. Contents: 1 x driven ballerina, 1 x obsessive mother, 1 x rival, 1 x svengali artistic director.

Nina the Ballerina (Natalie Portman) finally lands her dream role, the lead in Swan Lake, after the previous principal is dumped for being too long in the hoof. Nina is technically perfect but needs to get in touch with her animal side to deliver the passion the role demands. Nina proceeds to fall off her hinges.

The two main problems with Black Swan are that Nina is insipid, and Portman is no ballet dancer. Mao’s Last Dancer, cast with dancers rather than movie stars, really captured the thrill of performance; this doesn’t. 5/10

Released January 13.

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