Ballet hokum becomes a head trip of pop-goth stylization as director Darren Aronofsky falls off his raw, real form of The Wrestler. Natalie Portman worked hard as the traumatized ballerina but spins around in a blur of bad dancing, one-note acting, and demented plot. Helping to creep it up are Winona Ryder, Barbara Hershey, and Vincent Cassel as a Svengali (he’s like a bad joke about Anton Walbrook in The Red Shoes). This thing is so hammy and passé that the film’s positive reviews are like goofy extensions of the script. (2010) — David Elliott
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