Even when things are most bizarre and confusing, Black Swan, which stars Natalie Portman as a tormented (in so many ways) ballerina, is gripping and stunning. The numerous ballet sequences are beautiful. Director Darren Aronofsky crashes through the fourth wall that usually divides the audience from the performers to capture the fluid nature of the dance moves and the harsh reality of its toil on the body. Though it takes a long time to realize the promise of Black Swan, the final act makes it all worthwhile. Even as you're shaking your head trying to piece it all together, you find yourself on your feet, clapping wildly and calling for an encore. Rated R. Now playing. Area theaters. Visit fandango.com.
Read Tim Plant's full review here.