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TIFF Oscar buzz begins: Natalie Portman wins critics’ support in Black Swan

TIFF Oscar buzz begins: Natalie Portman wins critics’ support in Black Swan

The Oscar baiting of TIFF films has officially begun, with acclaim for Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan pouring in—with overwhelming praise for Natalie Portman’s starring performance—after its international premiere at the Venice Film Festival. The film, scheduled to screen in Toronto on September 13 at Roy Thomson Hall, follows Nina (Portman) as a spotlight-craving ballerina who becomes entangled in a pas de deux with a rival dancer played by Mila Kunis. Eventually Nina’s plight takes a Cronenberg-esque turn (hey, this is an Aronofsky flick), with her eyes discolouring and wings sprouting from her back as she becomes the swan she strives to portray onstage.

The scintillating sex scene with Portman and Kunis, plus Aronofsky’s last credit, The Wrestler, have created much buzz around the film and should almost guarantee Portman a gold statue nod, but just as Heath Ledger didn’t win for Brokeback Mountain and Mickey Rourke didn’t win for The Wrestler, these sorts of predictions tend to carry bad omens. Portman is expected to be on the red carpet for the TIFF premiere, and we’ll be keeping track of what she gets asked about more: the Oscars or lesbian sex.

• Can Black Swan win Natalie Portman an Oscar? [Vulture] • Can ‘Black Swan’ Nab Natalie Portman an Oscar? - Venice Film Festival Screening a Success [Gather] • Black Swan makes a splash at Venice film festival [The Guardian]Black Swan review [Indie Wire]Black Swan review [The Hollywood Reporter]

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