Running Time: 103 mins.                    Rating: 2 Stars/5 Stars

MPAA Rating: R

Director: Darren Aronofsky

Genre: Drama/Thriller

Country: USA

Language: English

Distributor: Fox Searchlight

Cast: Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel, Barbara Hershey, Winona Ryder, Ksenia Solo, Janet Montgomery, Benjamin Millepied, John ‘Lypsinka’ Epperson

A cliché-ridden ballet film schizophrenically co-directed by a resurrected Edgar G. Ulmer and David Cronenberg.  It’s as if Charles Busch reconceived Swan Lake and had it performed by Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo in a psych ward at Bellevue.

An insecure ballerina with a domineering ex-dancer for a mother slowly loses her sanity when she gets the part of a lifetime, replacing the aging prima ballerina who’s more neurotic than she is, from the lothario artistic director on the prowl for new, and nubile, conquests.  While all her dreams seem to have come true, she comes face-to-face with the yin to her yang, a sexually adventurous rival from Sodom on the left coast, San Francisco.  Will she or won’t she succumb to her dark side?  You’ll waste nearly two hours to find out.

For those with sharp eyes, keep them peeled for the Mississippi born and bred drag artist and Wigstock regular Lypsinka (John Epperson) in a catty cameo as the rehearsal pianist.  Interesting side note, Epperson was the rehearsal pianist for the American Ballet Theater when he moved to New York from 1978 to 1991.

Joan Crawford and Bette Davis would have chewed the hell out of the scenery, and script, during their WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE? period.  I’ll take Swan Lake any day over The Nutcracker, no matter how tawdry the feature adaptation.

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