I never really got into Pi, though I did try my very best in order to fit in with the cool kids. Requiem for a Dream left me cold (pretty much everyone else slobbered over it around me), and credibility left the building for me during the double dildo (oh shock horror!) denouement. I didn't even bother with Below. And despite my perfect man being the headliner, what was up with the Fountain??
The Wrestler, on the other hand, was telling a story with genuine compassion and a refreshing lack of artifice. And I found it incredibly moving.
Natalie Portman's Nina in the Black Swan is the celluloid sister to Mickey Rourke's Randy in the Wrestler. Both fragile creatures trying to reconcile the allure of the spotlight with the quest of some kind of normalcy in their lives. Both consumed by the drive to achieve their goals, regardless of the cost and sacrifice that success entails.
Ballet is closer to Wrestling than you think. Both are physically demanding sports and every crunch, click, pull and tear is suitably amplified in Aronsofsky's companion pieces. Although a little more stylistic in structure, Black Swan successfully portrays, through some extremely claustrophobic close-ups, the gradual decline of its fractured protagonist.
The film is by no means perfect, and teeters a little too finely on the point of melodrama, but Natalie's performance is rivetting and the rush towards her transmogrification at the end left me on the edge and breathless.
So we pretty much know she is a sure thing for the oscar, but what about Mila Kunis!!! I wanted more of her on screen. I may very well have a girl crush!!!