I don't usually go to dance films. And I'm somewhat cool on Natalie
Portman. In both instances this film surprised me.
As stated dance isn't my thing, but the intensity of the cinematography combined with the script really made me sit up and take notice. The ballet in itself isn't what stands out, it is the way it is filmed. Sumptuous is the only word to describe it.
Portman has always been something of a lightweight actress for me. I've never seen her in a role that really got my attention. But here she is in one word superb. If she wins an Oscar for the role then it will be well deserved, that is how good I think she is. But the rest of the cast is good to with no mis-casting and all suiting their roles.
This film won't be for all tastes. It is aimed more as a 'chick flick' and 'psycological thriller'. When I went on January 28th at 6.30p.m the theatre was half full with only three males present. But any guy who loves cinema wether he likes the subjet matter or not will get alot from this film. The shorts to the film don't give out some of the content. A very hot steamy lesbian scene that leaves absolutely nothing to the imagination really took me by surprise. Also several masturbation scenes from Portman are surprising but very well done. You have to see the film and understand the story line to see that these scenes are quite central to Portman's character. You have been warned!!.I have heard of people walking out cinemas due to this content.
There are also several fright moments that, like a horror movie, make you jump. But like the sex scenes they are central to Portman's character and development. It really is a film that has so much going on, dance, thrills, sex, great acting, etc, but never do you feel overwhelmed by it all. The pacing is good and really delivers on its 'psycological thriller' tag.
Overall I found this film quite rewarding despite my initial mis-givings about dance and Portman. Her acting and the cinematography are really something. This is very fine cinema and should be seen by all who enjoy a film regardless of the storyline and content.