Darren Aronofsky is without a doubt the most demented Director in Hollywood. His films (Requiem For a Dream, The Fountain, The Wrestler, etc...) have all dealt with aspects of the dark side of humanity. The Wrestler is his most easily accessible movie and remains my favorite film that he's directed. His latest attempt to exorcise his demons through film is Black Swan, a drama/horror/thriller that focuses on a young ballet star and her experience in staring on the big stage in a performance of Swan Lake.
Let's get a few things straight. #1, I don't like ballet. #2, I've never seen Swan Lake. #3, I am not a huge fan of Aronofsky's movies. The reason I did want to see this movie, however, is the other positive reviews I've read and the appeal of Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis who play the ballet stars in the film. The film is a total Oscar vehicle for Portman. As Nina, the dancer who just can't let herself go to play the Black Swan role in Swan Lake, Portman shines as a vunerable character who goes through just about every emotion possible throughout the story. The tension and drama that Aronofsky arrogantly forces on the viewer is almost believable due to her performance. You really appreciate the amount of work Portman put into her role including learning traditional ballet dancing and maintaining a borderline unhealthy weight through the entire film. Kunis is a solid supporting.
Both Portman and Kunis definitely add some eye candy to the movie as they really are two of Hollywood's most beautiful actresses working today. Aronofsky knows this too and comes off as being a little pervy by shooting at least 3 scenes with Portman touching herself. Entirely too many unnecessary sexual innuendos are worked into the script and while I'm not complaining to see Portman in sexy scenes, they just seemed very forced overall. There are a few WTF moments that didn't make sense and most of them included a VERY SCARY Barbara Hershey who has gone through so much plastic surgery that she can probably play The Joker in Chris Nolan's next Batman movie.