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'Black Swan' Variety Review Print E-mail
Wednesday, 01 September 2010 12:00

Black Swan

'Black Swan'
Natalie Portman stars in director Darren Aronofsky's ballet-thriller 'Black Swan.'

A Fox Searchlight release and presentation of a Protozoa, Phoenix Pictures production in association with Cross Creek Pictures, Dune Entertainment. Produced by Mike Medavoy, Arnold W. Messer, Brian Oliver, Scott Franklin. Executive producers, Bradley J. Fischer, Ari Handel, Tyler Thompson, Peter Fruchtman, Rick Schwartz, David Thwaites, Jennifer Roth. Co-producers, Joseph Reidy, Gerald Fruchtman. Directed by Darren Aronofsky. Screenplay, Mark Heyman, Andrew Heinz, John McLaughlin; story, Heinz.

Nina Sayers/ The Swan Queen - Natalie Portman
Lily/The Black Swan - Mila Kunis
Thomas Leroy/ The Gentleman - Vincent Cassel
Erica Sayers/The Queen - Barbara Hershey
Beth MacIntyre/ The Dying Swan - Winona Ryder
David/The Prince - Benjamin Millepied
A wicked, sexy and ultimately devastating study of a young dancer's all-consuming ambition, "Black Swan" serves as a fascinating complement to Darren Aronofsky's "The Wrestler," trading the grungy world of a broken-down fighter for the more upscale but no less brutal sphere of professional ballet. Centerstage stands Natalie Portman, whose courageous turn lays bare the myriad insecurities genuinely dedicated performers face when testing their limits, revealing shades of the actress never before seen on film. As with "The Wrestler," Fox Searchlight faces formidable marketing challenges, likely exploiting the psychosexual thriller's racier elements to eke out a similarly modest score.

Once again, Aronofsky is drawn to the irresistible force that drives certain personality types to chase the spotlight, except in this case, the impulse doesn't seem born of some deep-seated egotism, but is simply programmed from childhood by a controlling mother (a creepy but far from one-note Barbara Hershey). Portman plays Nina, a virginal young ballerina who comes across as an incomplete soul, her single-minded interest in dance eclipsing all other aspects of her being.

Executive Producer Mike Medavoy's Wildest Dream Print E-mail
Written by Joe Clapson   
Monday, 19 July 2010 11:10

THIS film is a perfect example of how real life, when expertly captured, cannot be beaten by multi-million-dollar special effects or an A-list Hollywood cast.

The Wildest Dream is the story of one man’s obsession with retracing the ill-fated steps of British explorer George Mallory, who disappeared on Mount Everest in 1924.

Mallory’s body had remained unfound until 1999 when renowned mountaineer Conrad Anker discovered the climber’s corpse high in Everest’s notorious “death zone”.

Emmy Award-winning Anthony Geffen’s breathtaking piece of cinema captures Anker’s journey to answer questions that have plagued the mountaineering fraternity for more than 70 years.

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