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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Black Swan Headed for a Wide Release

Disappointed that Black Swan wasn’t playing in your area this past weekend? Me too, but hold onto your tutu—the ultra-buzzworthy film will soon see a wide release.

The talk of the film world for the past several months, Swan will hit a theater near you on December 22. While the film is not exactly your typical let’s take the kids to see a movie on Christmas-type fare, this news is sure to bring some holiday cheer to moviegoers who were forced to miss out on last weekend’s limited release.

A limited release, by the way, that scored a remarkable $80k per venue average. Apply that to the 1000 theaters that the film is headed for later this month, and you’ve got an $80 million weekend. Not too shabby, but not surprising either. Swan has received a herd of media attention since its debut at the Venice International Film Festival in September.

Despite much of Swan’s buzz centering on the already-famous love scenes between Natalie Portman (Cold Mountain, Garden State) and co-star Mila Kunis (That 70s Show, Forgetting Sarah Marshall), the film itself is receiving rave critical reviews.

Turning his attention to the unforgiving world of ballet, director Darren Aronofsky tells the story of two up-and-coming dancers as they compete for the lead role in a production of Swan Lake. Aronofsky takes a dark look at the lifestyle, including what dancers go through to advance their careers and how it consumes them—not unlike his examination of the world of professional wrestling (another underappreciated art form—and yes, it is an art form) in his previous film, The Wrestler.

Just as Mickey Rourke did in that film, Portman and Kunis underwent a rigorous training regiment in preparation for their roles. According to USA Today, the actresses each dropped around 20 pounds, and learned proper ballet techniques for their roles. Additionally, Portman suffered a collection of injuries throughout filming.

The result—according to trailer that I saw a few weeks ago (see below) and those who have actually seen the film—is nothing short of spectacular. While I don’t always latch onto psychological thrillers, this one has my attention—and it has nothing to do with the love scene. I will at least be making an attempt to break away from all of the holiday celebrations to give Swan a view later this month.

Were you lucky enough to catch Black Swan over the weekend? If so, what did you think? Does it live up to the hype? If you haven’t seen it yet, will you—like me—be heading to the theater on the 22nd? Be sure to share your thoughts as comments below.

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