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Bird-Brained: Darren Aronofsky’s “Black Swan”

Bird-Brained: Darren Aronofsky's "Black Swan"

If nothing else, Black Swan will certainly be the nuttiest movie to be mistaken for serious art in 2010, a true distinction as these last beleaguered twelve months of moviegoing saw contenders like Gaspar Noé’s harebrained Enter the Void and Andrei Konchalovsky’s utterly baffling The Nutcracker in 3D fall by the wayside. Darren Aronofsky has a leg up on his competitors: his horror movie about a good girl gone mad is set in the rarefied world of professional ballet (note the conspicuous exteriors of Lincoln Center, home to a film festival that, until The Wrestler, hadn’t been particularly accommodating to Aronofsky’s work), kibble for a gray-haired audience that likely passed over Pi, Requiem for a Dream, and (hee hee) The Fountain, but who help set the terms of the debate about what’s important or frivolous in our theaters and year-end awards shows. That crowd may well be stunned silent by what they find in here: this cracked fantasy is no The Red Shoes. Though perhaps they may share the reaction of the Philadelphia Film Festival audience I saw Black Swan with not long ago: waves of gut-busting laughter. Whether or not Aronofsky’s also laughing is an open question. Read Jeff Reichert’s review of Black Swan.

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