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Barbara Hershey's intimate dance
Director Darren Aronofsky's film "Black Swan" unfolds on pointe shoes, but it is not stepping lightly into the award field. The provocative film features a searing performance from Natalie Portman as Nina, a ballerina quite possibly driven to madness in her search for perfection. Ratcheting up the drama further is Barbara Hershey as matriarch Erica, a former corps ballerina who gave up everything to mother, and often smother, her talented, potentially unstable child. The two live in stifling quarters made even more oppressive by their dysfunctional relationship. Erica wakes, feeds and dresses Nina in a room decorated for a little girl — a room that Aronofsky had Hershey help design. In a recent phone interview, Hershey praises the director for similarly supporting her design for Erica, a woman with a twisted love for her daughter.
By Lisa Rosen, Special to the Los Angeles Times
November 18, 2010