Dance fever - Page 2

Portman is prima in Black Swan

Ducking the ugly duckling: Nina (Natalie Portman) meets her own worst enemies in Black Swan

As Nina, Portman gives her most dynamic performance to date. In addition to the thespian fireworks required while playing a goin'-batshit character, she also nails the role's considerable athletic demands. (No need to play spot-the-dance-double, a game most thrillingly deployed during 1983's Flashdance.) Portman's intelligence and intense beauty can make it hard for her to seem like a real person onscreen, but as Black Swan's dread-filled bird, it all fits. It's a career-elevating turn (and I suppose she's finally off the hook for participating in those Star Wars prequels). Nina strives for perfection; Portman owns it.

BLACK SWAN opens Fri/3 in Bay Area theaters.


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