(…) Similar too is the way that this film uses the star personae of its actors to enrich things, whilst also studying some of the same key issues: fear of aging and of being less than you once were. If Mickey Rourkeâ€™s own ups and downs were expressed in that last film, then Winona Ryderâ€™s are mined here. Her aging dancer, Beth, was once a star. But now she finds herself no longer wanted and considered too old to play the main role. Portman is the upstart here: the new Winona Ryder.
Once upon a time, Ryder was the young and attractive female lead of Edward Scissorhands, whereas most recently she was Spockâ€™s mum in the latest Star Trek. It is typically bleak of Aronofsky to make this statement, which implies a less than ideal future for Portman, but it certainly works and gives the drama an added dimension, aswell as a sense of hyper-reality amidst the madness and despair. Incidentally, Ryder is also very good in the role, and will certainly be hoping for a Rourke-style comeback of her own. (…)