Last night my wife and I went to see the Oscar-nominated movie, Black Swan. What a horrifically amazing portrayal of what goes on behind the scenes in ballet theatre groups! Actually, this movie could easily pass for a horror film. There are plenty of scenes that are extremely difficult to watch and you have to cringe in an attempt to avoid seeing what the lead character is spiraling down into. Really, Natalie Portman has done a splendid job getting into the mind of the pressured, high-strung and very obsessive ballet dancer, Nina. The movie exposes the dirty politics and unhealthy competition that often exists behind the scenes but never comes to the forefront on stage. Vincent Cassel brilliantly plays the questionable ballet teacher who takes sexual advantage of Nina’s vulnerability and yet also pushes her to do better. One of my other favourite characters was the one played by Mila Kunis, of ‘That 70’s Show’ fame. She has a very friendly and personable air about her which is unfortunately seen as a threat in Nina’s petrified, disturbed and borderline insane state of mind. I should not forget to mention Winona Ryder’s contribution here. Although she has a shorter part to play in the story compared to the main characters, she has given a wonderful performance as the angry ‘has-been’ washed out ex-ballet queen. Overall, it is definitely worth at least one watch if not more! I commend the director for wonderfully building up the tension right from the first shot and slowly taking it all the way to a climax of drama and paranoia, all inside one mind: Nina’s. What I thought was going to be a straightforward movie (dare I say chick flick :p )about a ballet group and their petty fights turned out to be a psychotic mind thriller that had me longing to see puppies and daisies and happy faces once again.