Culture Club: Black Swan (15)

Readers review this week's big film

"Two words: turgid and overrated."

Jacob Alexander Gallear

"Natalie Portman was fantastic. You can feel she's got soul in every frame."

Aleksandar Aleksic

"I sympathise with those who cringed at the physical damage. I have a thing about nails anyway, but I felt it was excellent, powerful and genuinely creepy – yet also moving. Natalie Portman deserves an Oscar."

Emma Anne James

"Natalie Portman was superb. The film was surreal, dark and intense but I was completely swept along by Portman's emotional performance. Fight Club in a tutu, what's wrong with that!"

Helen Stainer

"...I don't think the lesbian sex scene was solely there to pleasure you. Although idiots laughing at that point in my screening seemed to think so... "

George Walker

"I thought Natalie Portman was excellent, but some of the scenes were so over the top they were hilarious. For example, when she was trying to hide the body. I don't know whether I was really supposed to laugh as much as I did. As camp as Christmas. If it had been set elsewhere it could have been called "Pirouettes of the Caribbean".

Chris Thomas

"Portman's portrayal of the psychological trauma is so real...

Breathtaking!"

Peter Abel

"Loved it! Thought the story and characters developed really well throughout the film. Despite the claustrophobic, stifling atmosphere, it had great pace that carried you through, giving you a sense that the rapid downfall was the result of many years of pressure. I also felt the confusion being experienced by Natalie Portman's character as she couldn't distinguish between reality and her increasing madness. Loads of good, old-fashioned horror-wince moments too!"

Mosaic Pike

"Brilliant film! I needed a stiff drink or two afterwards though."

Marianne Squires

"Predictable, tired... unsexy sex and a very boring perfectionism-will-kill-you theme."

Koen Sebregts

"It was only later that I began to think how clichéd it was (overcontrolling mother living vicariously through her daughter), sexual frustration and frigidity as seen from the male heterosexual perspective (but maybe she was lesbian), over-the-top 'diva-ish' behaviour from people in the performing arts. But what the hell, it was gripping."

Carol Smart

"Gripping enough that you can easily brush off the odd over-melodramatic scenes. Well worth a watch."

Izzy Mathias

"Well balanced and held together by great performances. Also visually striking."

Benjamin Macintosh

"Entertaining... surely a homage to Argento and De Palma with whiff of Polanski... but enjoyable bonkers... Clint Mansell did a great job with the score – opera will eat itself, indeed... "

John O Sullivan

"I'm a big fan of Aronofsky, but I have to say that after The Fountain, this was a bit of a let-down (not by much though)."

Mhd Thr

Next week in Culture Club: Skins

Please email your views on E4's teen drama and its third generation of new characters with a multitude of adolescent issues to cultureclub@independent.co.uk. The best will be published next Thursday

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
The frill of it all: Hattie Morahan in 'The Changeling'

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny may reunite for The X Files

tv
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson, left, and Richard Hammond upset the locals in South America
TV
News
A young woman punched a police officer after attending a gig by US rapper Snoop Dogg
people
Arts and Entertainment
Reese Witherspoon starring in 'Wild'

It's hard not to warm to Reese Witherspoon's heroismfilm
Arts and Entertainment
Word up: Robbie Coltrane as dictionary guru Doctor Johnson in the classic sitcom Blackadder the Third
books

Arts and Entertainment
The Oscar nominations are due to be announced today

Oscars 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Hacked off: Maisie Williams in ‘Cyberbully’

Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challenge

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything and Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game are both nominated at the Bafta Film Awards
Arts and Entertainment

Academy criticised after no non-white actors nominated

Arts and Entertainment
Damian Lewis shooting a scene as Henry VIII in Wolf Hall
TV

Arts and Entertainment
A history of violence: ‘Angry, White and Proud’ looked at the rise of far-right groups

tv

An expose of hooliganism masquerading as an ideological battle

Arts and Entertainment

art

Lee Hadwin can't draw when he's awake, but by night he's an artist

Arts and Entertainment

TV

Arts and Entertainment
Michael Keaton in the 1998 Beetlejuice original

film

Arts and Entertainment

TV

Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman and David Tennant star in 'Broadchurch'

TV

Arts and Entertainment
Michael Kitchen plays Christopher Foyle in ITV's 'Foyle's War'

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Downton Abbey star Joanne Froggatt will be starring in Dominic Savage's new BBC drama The Secrets

Arts and Entertainment
Vividly drawn: Timothy Spall in Mike Leigh’s ‘Mr Turner’
film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

    Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

    Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
    DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

    The inside track on France's trial of the year

    Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
    As provocative now as they ever were

    Sarah Kane season

    Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
    Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

    Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

    Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
    Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

    Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

    One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
    The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

    The enemy within

    People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
    Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

    Autumn/winter menswear 2015

    The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    Army general planning to come out
    Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

    What the six wise men told Tony Blair

    Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
    25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

    25 years of The Independent on Sunday

    The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
    Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

    Smash hit go under the hammer

    It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
    Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

    The geeks who rocked the world

    A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
    Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

    Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

    Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea