Firstly, having seen this last week, I read a review on the Guardian website which if I hadn't seen it prior would have ruined the whole film experience. This review is safe to read if you've not seen the film yet. That in mind it may seem a little vague. If anyone would like to comment on specific scenes, please put a spoiler alert before you do.
Walking out of the cinema I heard a few people's first thoughts, they included "one too many lesbian scenes", "well that was shit" (hopefully sarcastically) and "amazing, just amazing". I think that this rainbow of comments heard on exit will be pretty standard in cinemas every where. The reason for this is that people have judged the film before going to see it, always a mistake. If you want to see a lovely light hearted film about the ballet, you will be disappointed. If you're likely to focus solely on the girl on girl action, then you are missing a lot. This is a deep film that will have you chatting about it all night. It doesn't follow the Hollywood rules and it wasn't made simply to win awards. Love it or hate it, this film will be talked about in decades.
Cinematically stunning, very clever and a little disturbing. It's as close to a Shakespearean tragedy as has been made in modern times. Aronofsky's subtleties in direction shown in the Wrestler are apparent here too, but they give out as the film progresses to reveal the signature melodramatic shots found in his early work. It's good to see that he's not lost his youthful exuberance. Portman is stunning, believable, fierce and fragile at the flick of a switch. Vincent Cassel delivers a largely overlooked yet brilliant supporting role and Barbara Hershey creeps me out just thinking about her. I urge everybody to see this film, you may or may not like it or even understand it but it will keep you entertained long after the credits roll.
Marks out of 10, I'll give it 8. If you haven't already, go see it.
by Lee Power