I saw this a couple of week’s after The King’s Speech and enjoyed it just as much, though in a totally different way (as you might expect).

This film is totally bonkers. But in a good way.

Natalie Portman is the ballet dancer with the overbearing mother who gets her big break when Winona Ryder’s dancer “retires” and a new version of Swan Lake is planned, with the same dancer expected to play the black and white swans. Natalie’s character can clearly dance the white one but is thought to be too frigid to carry off the sensual black one. Throw in Mila Kunis as an is she/isn’t she rival and you have a recipe for disaster. It’s all going to end in tears.

I loved it. I wasn’t sure at first (and the Book God was the same), it’s kind of slow at the beginning but you really get drawn in to Natalie’s obsession, madness, paranoia or whatever you want to call it and I was desperate to know how far things were going to go. It’s wonderfully over the top and creepy and totally and utterly mad.

The experience of watching this was very interesting, the audience was a mix of  teenage girls (some of whom exhibited astonishing levels of stupidity in the foyer but at least they shut up in the screening), couples of various ages and a lot of older women presumably attracted by the ballet (which I thought was very well done, by the way). Within the first twenty minutes one of the couples walked out (probably because the lad hadn’t wanted to be there in the first place), followed by some of the older ladies who suddenly twigged that this was not your average ballet film, then a young woman who was taken ill during the film. None of this was too distracting.

I winced a couple of times, jumped at least once and spent ages with the Book God over dinner trying to work out WTF it was all about. At the time I didn’t think I would want to see it again but the more I think about it the more I do; I want to see if you can tell what’s coming.

Not for everyone, but I thought it was brill.

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