Darrenaranarrenaronofsky's psychodrama about extreme pressure, ambition, jealousy and paranoia in the world of professional ballet reaches such uncontrollable levels of histrionics that even world-class king of bonkers Vincent Cassel comes off as mild-mannered amongst all the overwrought mentalism going on around him.
It's not necessarily a bad thing, although repeated uses of loud noises to hammer home cheap shocks and the tedious omnipresence of mirrors in almost every single scene to illustrate characters' fractured personalities is hardly the apex of original - or subtle - filmmaking.
It is, however, an impressive feat of CGI that you never see the cameraman reflected in any of the mirrors when they should be visible all over the shop. So well done for that.
Also well done to Natalie Portman, who transforms from pathetic doormat to crazy swan queen, stopping briefly en route to be a bit confused and horny with fellow ballerina Mila Kunis (also great), and convincingly bends her lollipop-shaped body into some impressive ballet shapes along the way.
Unfortunately, the story can't support the weight of its own emotional intensity any more than Portman's stick-thin frame should be able to support her massive noggin, and by the final act it all collapses in on itself, leaving the audience dazed and confused in equal measure.
Still, she does have a nice big ladywank at one point so it's not all bad.