Five days ago in Venice Black Swan roused audiences to their feet for a 5-minute standing ovation. A surprise screening in Telluride last night has inspired the same excitement stateside.
Eric D. Snider, Cinematical
Black Swan is a wholly engrossing, almost unbearably tense drama about a fairly mundane thing: backstage anxiety in the performing arts. Countless movies have addressed the same subject, but I feel safe in saying none have addressed it in quite this way. Aronofsky, working from a screenplay by Mark Heyman and Andres Heinz, shows a knack for combining genres in a most unsettling fashion. Here you’ll find psychological thrills, body horror, sexual awakening, symbolic self-discovery, hallucinatory trickery, and the terrifying calf muscles of ballet dancers, all in one movie.
At the center of this psychological nightmare is Natalie Portman, giving the best performance of her career… She’s in nearly every frame of the movie, often dancing, often in close-up, conveying a huge range of intense and complicated emotions. No matter how suspenseful, strange, or astonishing things get, we’re right there with her, feeling every bit of Nina’s fear, confusion, excitement, and eventual liberation.
Peter Sciretta, SlashFilm
Black Swan is a brilliant mind fuck. It is one of the boldest films I‚Äôve seen produced by a Hollywood studio in years.