So, another entry from the "Marmite" director - will you love or hate Darren Aronofosky's new experience of a ballerina trying to be the part of both the White Swan and the Black Swan?
If you think it sounds dainty or boring, then think again. What we actually have here is an intriguing portrayal of a woman slipping into uncertain madness as her work-obsessed, sheltered life is assaulted from all sides - including herself - as she tries to embody the passion and freedom of the Black Swan to secure the coveted role.
Throughout, you are hit with images of reflections - normal and altered - as mirrors feature in nearly every other shot. Infact, you may not realise how incredibly clever it all is as you become accustomed to them, but to have all these shots without one cameraman in frame (especially during Portman's first training session as the Swan Queen) is a truly astonishing feat indeed.
With the uncertainty from Portman as her mind plays ever increasing tricks on her, it's hard to decipher exactly what is real and what is imagined - even characters become questionable as to whether they are real or not. Kunis is the perfect ying to Portman's yang as the new seductress on the block her motives and even her actual existence is wonderfully (or annoyingly) never fully answered.
These two can be likened to Edward Norton and his extreme solution to achieving things he couldn't normally do by creating Brad Pitt's character in David Fincher's comparable descent into mental meltdown. How can be sure what we see is real or imagined by Portman? This level of psychological toying from the script and direction may not be for every ones taste - if you don't want to think about what you see or like slow turning tension building, then this is not for you.
So, the first rule about Black Swan is, don't talk about Fight Club. The second rule of Black Swan is do not talk about Fight Club....and beware of what you see in your reflection - you might not like what you see, or like what it's capable of!
UK release date: 21/01/11