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Scarred & Feathered

Not since Glenn Close went all rabbit-boiling bonkers in Fatal Attraction has mental illness been more entertaining. And utterly frightening.

In Black Swan, Natalie Portman plays Nina, an obsessive ballerina who lives with her equally obsessive mother (Barbara Hershey). When Nina gets offered the role of a lifetime, paranoia and an unhealthy pursuit of perfection take over and her world begins to unravel. Mila Kunis plays a free-spirited dancer who threatens to take over Nina’s position as prima ballerina, while a stunning Winona Ryder portrays the has-been ballerina that Nina herself has already replaced. How very All About Eve.

It’s hard to go into too much detail on a thriller like this without spoiling any of the key plot twists, and there are plenty. What we can divulge is that there’s hot lesbian sex, wonderfully brutal cat fights and stunning costumes – just like our favorite VeggieTales movies.

Portman, Kunis, Hershey and Ryder all excel in their roles, each with varying degrees of insanity. We only wish Ryder’s part was bigger because it’s nice to see her back in top form and breaking free from her scandalous last few years.

There’s a lot of shaky-cam going on in this flick, so make sure to get to the theater early enough to sit far enough back so that you don’t have a bad case of vertigo and have to flee during one of many pivotal scenes. We were a little close and motion sickness was a real and present danger.

Ultimately, Black Swan is a disturbing delight that makes ballet far more interesting than it tends to often be. But if it’s one thing the movie made us want to do more than run out and see Swan Lake next time it’s in town, it’s get a nice manicure when the whole thing was over. See it and you’ll know exactly what we’re talking about.

“Black Swan” opens today in limited release, expanding further on 12/10 and 12/17