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March 24th, 2011 |
By Jared Curtis


‘Black Swan’

Directed by Darren Aronofsky

Rated R, 108 minutes

“Black Swan” was the best film of 2010 and the pinnacle of director Darren Aronofsky’s career. Natalie Portman gives a stunning, Oscar Award-winning performance as Nina, a role player in a New York ballet company. After years of watching Beth (Winona Ryder) shine on stage, Nina is finally given the opportunity she’s been waiting for — the starring role in “Swan Lake.” But the prestigious role brings Nina plenty of pain and grief as she stresses over her performance, the new upstart (Mila Kunis) nipping at her heels and her overbearing, former ballet star mother (Barbara Hershey). As opening night approaches, Nina slips further and further into a dark spiral, blurring the lines of reality. With “Black Swan,” Aronofsky has created a visceral experience, blending a beautiful dance movie, a tense psychological thriller and a gory horror film that will rock audiences to the core.CV


‘American Psycho’

‘Requiem for a Dream’

Directed by Darren Aronofsky

2000, Rated NC-17, 102 minutes

“Requiem for a Dream” follows the lives of four Coney Island residents — Sara Goldfarb (Academy Award nominee Ellen Burstyn), her son Harry (Jared Leto), his girlfriend Marion (Jennifer Connelly) and his friend Tyrone (Marlon Wayans) — whose drug-use leads them through a euphoric haze. But after a number of mishaps, the euphoria they’ve enjoyed turns into a nightmare of addiction. This film is extremely unsettling and features a number of relentless and disturbing scenes (Marion’s final party scene, Harry’s arm rotting off). Although it’s essentially a drug movie, “Requiem for a Dream” is anything but. It shows the awful side of drug use and how far/fast an addict can succumb to its power. Forget the D.A.R.E. program; if schools want their students to stay away from drugs, they need to show them “Requiem for a Dream.”CV