It’s a been a while since I woke up with the kind of anticipation that comes with knowing that inside your laptop lies a bunch of reviews for one of your most anticipated films of the year… But this morning that was most definitely the case in Darren Aronofsky’s “Black Swan,” which debuted in Venice seven or so hours ago. See reaction for yourself below, but it certainly seems like I should be counting the minutes until I can see this film in Toronto next week (and I’ll also admit I may have quickly skimmed each review for any recognition of Winona Ryder’s performance first and foremost, to which “tiny role but excellent work” seemed to be the consensus)…
Kirk Honeycutt, The Hollywood Reporter: The movie is so damn out-there in every way that you can’t help admiring Aronofsky for daring to be so very, very absurd. “Swan” is an instant guilty pleasure, a gorgeously shot, visually complex film whose badness is what’s so good about it.
Peter DeBruge, Variety: 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.
Mike Goodridge, Screen: Alternately disturbing and exhilarating, this dark study of a mentally fragile performer derailed by her obsession with perfection is one of the most exciting films to come out of the Hollywood system this year.
Guy Lodge, In Contention: ““Black Swan” cements Aronofsky’s place as one of the biggest and most unruly thinkers working in the only notionally small aesthetic of American independent cinema.”
Todd McCarthy, Deep Focus: “When one star is born, however, a previous one must pass by the boards, in this case the aging Beth MacIntyre, played with an almost frighteningly credible neurotic intensity by Winona Ryder that sets the bar high for Portman to match.”
Time for all us unlucky folk not in Venice to allow our mouths to water all over again: