For some reason, I kind of soured on Aronofsky. I was crazy about him in high school. Shaking his camera all about with the loud music and whatnot in Requiem for a Dream. I don't think I really gathered how silly he could be at times... or perhaps he became silly to me. All the shouting and yelling. The Fountain didn't help his case much either. So I suppose I went into Black Swan with a bit of skepticism. I have to say, I left feeling pretty jazzed about the movie. It jerks you around in a really satisfying way. Portman pulls off a layered and exhausting looking performance. The characters apart from her are really broad strokes and easily made silly, but they work in his frenzied world. And we move so quickly through it that we don't really have time to think too much. Aronofsky moves into almost a horror space for a portion of the movie, which works really well, and I felt a nice catharsis when he lets off the steam by the end. I can't say I was too emotionally involved in the plot and I think maybe that's why I might consider this one of my more favorite of his films. To me it felt like a pondering of narcissism and perfection and art and all that crud, rather than watching people detonate which Requiem was for me. I didn't feel bogged down as much at the end. Or maybe I've just grown into a cold bastard. After all, we still do get enough of Natalie Portman detonating to satisfy that urge too. GOOD FLICK.