There are two blockbuster cinema houses in Cambridge, but only one tiny Picturehouse Arts Theatre, nestled behind a missable doorway, next to a very bolshy pub. It contains the pulse of the best art house movies ever made. I didn't bother to see a trailer of The King's Speech. I knew it would be brilliant. What I didn't expect was to laugh as much as I did! Every performance is refined, nuanced and timed comically to perfection. I wanted to watch it again even as I was falling into the story. I had a killer migraine, and I was hungry (such queues for popcorn and glasses of wine - posh theatre!), but I wanted to be nowhere else. Colin Firth as King George VI, the anguished, unfortunate sufferer of a stammer, and Geoffrey Rush as his invincible, irreverent Australian speech therapist, conduct their relationship so magnificently onscreen, that they must have the most sublime friendship in real life too. Go watch if you can. And you can!
The migraine passed. And the ballet moved in.
Black Swan is a microcosm of New York City; intense, sexy, claustrophobic, unpredictable and at times, extravagantly violent. (I hid my face away several times - pathetic, I know.) It is also beauty personified; the kind that is rooted in the classical sense, of Natalie Portman's exquisite face, her disciplined hauteur, and the rare occasions when she tremulously smiles; but also in the terrible avenging beauty of ambition, of demanding bodily perfection, and its ensuing psychic chaos. There is no simplicity here. And I don't think anyone will associate the ballet with fluffy white tutus anymore. This swan grows black scales!
p.s. Happy 35th anniversary to my beloved parents and Happy Burns night to you all :)