Culture Club: Black Swan (15)

Readers review this week's big film
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The Independent Culture

"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...


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 The best will be published next Thursday