October 31, 2010 |
On the stage of the Performing Arts Center at SUNY's Purchase College, about 45 minutes north of here, Natalie Portman, wearing a tutu and a distressed mesh top, elegantly pirouettes and then dips into the arms of dancer and choreographer Benjamin Millepied. "That's it," director Darren Aronofsky calls out. "Very nice. " But something apparently is not quite right. Millepied, who stands not unlike the statue of David in tights, quietly confers with Portman and then, separately, with Aronofsky.
February 3, 2011 |
In Darren Aronofsky's psychological thriller "Black Swan," an increasingly imbalanced ballerina, Nina Sayers (Natalie Portman), struggles to break free of her inhibitions. Cast as the lead in a production of "Swan Lake," Nina perfectly embodies the purity and reserve of the white swan but falls well short of finding the aggressive sexuality and passion of its counterpart, the black swan. She is pushed ever harder by the company director to let loose, to go beyond the technical aspects of the dance and find the emotional resonance of the darker character.
December 6, 2010 |
Big-city audiences are packing theaters for Hollywood's end-of-the-year flood of award contenders. Just a week after "The King's Speech" posted the best limited-release opening of the year, "The Black Swan" came in arguably even better. Director Darren Aronofsky's psychosexual drama about competitive ballet took in nearly $1.4 million from 18 theaters in eight cities, according to an estimate Sunday from distributor Fox Searchlight. Its per-theater average of $77,459 was slightly lower than that of "King's Speech," but "Black Swan," which stars Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis, debuted at more than four times as many locations, making its start more impressive.
May 16, 2011
'Swan' flies high "Black Swan" has danced past the $300-million mark at the global box office, a feat few independent films are able to accomplish. The film, which earned star Natalie Portman an Academy Award for lead actress earlier this year, has quietly continued to roll out overseas. This weekend, the movie finally opened in Japanese theaters, where it collected $6.1 million, according to an estimate from distributor Fox Searchlight. That was enough to push its international total to $198.4 million, and its worldwide tally to $305 million.
January 31, 2011 |
In the span of about two weeks, "The King's Speech" has gone from Oscar underdog to front-runner. The World War II-era British drama took the Screen Actors Guild's top honor Sunday evening, winning the movie ensemble acting award and essentially completing the trifecta of top Hollywood guild honors; its director, Tom Hooper, captured the top Directors Guild of America award on Saturday night, and last weekend the movie walked away with the Producers...
November 18, 2010 |
Director Darren Aronofsky's film "Black Swan" unfolds on pointe shoes, but it is not stepping lightly into the award field. The provocative film features a searing performance from Natalie Portman as Nina, a ballerina quite possibly driven to madness in her search for perfection. Ratcheting up the drama further is Barbara Hershey as matriarch Erica, a former corps ballerina who gave up everything to mother, and often smother, her talented, potentially unstable child. The two live in stifling quarters made even more oppressive by their dysfunctional relationship.
February 27, 2011 |
The death of a child is every parent's worst nightmare. So when Nicole Kidman took on the role of a mother mourning the loss of her 4-year-old son in "Rabbit Hole" just a year after giving birth to a daughter in real life, she knew she was venturing into emotionally treacherous territory. "I had a conversation with my husband, because I needed him to understand that I've got to go exist in a limbo place for a while," the actress said. "It's a strange balancing act. " Yet during production, Kidman found her equilibrium faltering, unable to contain to the set the experience of her character's grief.
January 21, 2011 |
With the male-skewing "The Green Hornet" currently dominating the box office, Paramount Pictures is hoping to take the top spot with a movie aimed at young women. Paramount's Ashton Kutcher-Natalie Portman romantic comedy "No Strings Attached" is the only new film opening nationwide this weekend and is generating solid interest among females under 25, according to prerelease surveys. People who have seen the results of such surveys said "No Strings" should open to about $20 million, a good start given that it cost about $25 million to make.
January 24, 2011 |
With football playoffs dominating the pop culture landscape this weekend, Paramount Pictures' hope with "No Strings Attached" was to get a good number of women out to movie theaters. It succeeded, as the friends-with-benefits comedy starring Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher opened to a solid $20.3 million, according to studio estimates, to win the weekend; 70% of attendees were women, exit polling showed. It was the only new picture to open nationwide, continuing what has been a slow January at the box office.
December 19, 2010 |
All actors, in some way, suffer for their craft, with the very act of losing oneself inside another being coming at a high price. All that pushing and prodding of one's pain, joy, love, loss and failure required by the craft is invasive by nature, demanding exposure that few of us would willingly suffer. But there are those roles where the physical extremes parallel, or outpace, the emotional ones; where art is found in extraordinary action, an "our body, ourselves" melding of the abstract of emotions with the concrete of bone and sinew.