This is Natalie Portman on the cover of September’s Interview Magazine. The actual interview hasn’t been released yet on Interview’s site, so I have no idea what Natalie is talking about. What I do know is that this is a gorgeous cover. This is amazing. God, she’s beautiful.
I could go on and on about how I think Natalie is a very classy and talented young actress, but that would destroy the strange news I just found. Natalie has just been officially confirmed for Black Swan, which will be directed by Darren Aronofsky (The Wrestler, Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain). What’s startling about this project is that it apparently calls for Natalie to do some crazy stuff – being a hardcore ballerina, taking drugs, being victimized by men and having “ecstasy-induced hungry aggressive angry sex” with a woman, who will be played by Mila Kunis. This is not your mother’s Natalie Portman film. But it’s not the fanboys’ fanatasy film either:
Black Swan will star drool-worthy starlets Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis and is being helmed by visionary director Darren Aronofsky. Aronofsky originally tried to set up the project in 2007 but Universal put it in turnaround. Thanks to “The Wrestler” doing so well though, Portman twirled onto the project a couple of months ago and everything’s been full steam ahead since.
Can I just tell you why none of my review matters? Can I just tell you why my review is absolutely pointless? Because in this movie, Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis have sex.
Yeah. You read that right. And not just nice sweet innocent sex either. We’re talking ecstasy-induced hungry aggressive angry sex. Yeah so…this movie is already on the must-see list of 2010. But how good is it? Does the story that surrounds the sex disappoint or excel?
Nina (Portman) is a ballerina in one of New York City’s top ballet companies. She appears to be the only sweet girl of the bunch however, as it’s established early on that these companies are packed with jackals, every seemingly sweet-natured princess scheming to backstab the girl next to her if only it gets her one rung higher on the ladder. High School’s got nothing on these bitches. Nina’s sorta friend, Beth, who has been the school’s running lead in all the productions, is nearing the end of her career, and everyone’s gunning to take her place in the next big ballet: Swan Lake.
The lead role is the part of Odette, the Swan Queen. The role is complicated by the fact that the ballerina must be able to play both sweet, the “White Swan,” and dark, the “Black Swan”. It is the ultimate challenge. Of course, Nina has the white swan down. But does she have the darkness to nail the Black Swan?
The director of the production is the handsome but sinister Yevna. He sees something in Nina but before he gives her the part, he wants to speak with her privately. It is there, in his office, that he pries into Nina’s mind, searching for her dark side, even going so far as to force a kiss on her. But it’s unclear whether Yevna is trying to seduce Nina or simply seeing how she’ll react. As the sweet polite girl she is. Or as the raging disturbed woman she will have to be. In the end, Nina is given the role. But it’s clear Yevna has doubts as to if she can pull it off.
As the days go by and Nina searches desperately to find her darkness, she begins noticing another girl around town and at the ballet company who looks exactly like her. But not just “exactly.” We’re talking identical. Yet every time Nina tries to get close, the girl turns away or hides her face. Finally, Nina meets this mysterious doppelganger after rehearsal. Her name is Lily (Kunis). And while she definitely looks like Nina, she’s by no means an identical replica. Was it Nina’s imagination perhaps?
Whereas Nina is calculated about every move she makes, Lily is the opposite – uncaring and uninterested in perfection. Everything she does seems so…effortless. The two begin a tepid friendship, one which Nina is constantly trying to pull away from. But while she is afraid of Lily, she is also drawn to her in some way. And then there’s those strange fleeting moments where Lily looks exactly like her.
As they get closer to production, Nina’s world starts to spin out of control as Lily befriends Yevna and continues to move up the ballet company ladder. The girls will go out, get drunk, and Nina will show up at rehearsal late the next day only to find that Lily is standing in for her. Is Lily scheming to steal her role as the Swan Queen? Or is Nina making this all up in her head in order to find her dark side? That is the ultimate question.
As in all Aronofsky movies, there are some controversial moments. In one scene, Nina basically gets raped by Yevna. It’s cold and off-putting, and yet it’s an important moment as it demonstrates just how high the stakes are in this seemingly innocent world. The script is steeped in darkness (surprise surprise) and makes you feel so uncomfortable at times that you can’t read it without constantly resituating yourself.
Yikes. While I think Aronofsky makes interesting, challenging, thought-provoking films, this one seems especially intense. I should mention to all of Natalie’s fan boys out there that you’ll really have to work for this lesbian scene. Natalie is no Megan Fox – she’s not just going to make out with a girl because “it’s cute” or “boys will think it’s funny”. Natalie is doing a hardcore lesbian sex scene because it’s art. And it probably won’t be sexy in the least.
Here’s Natalie Portman leaving Nobu Berkeley restaurant in London, having spent around 3 hours inside dining with friends on July 6th. Images thanks to WENN.com .