Image Credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty ImagesDarren Aronofsky wasn’t counting on thunderous applause at the end of the North American premiere of his new film Black Swan on Monday night at the Toronto Film Festival, although that’s exactly what he got. His film’s blend of drama, horror, and humor elicited both screams and laughs from moviegoers, and when the end credits rolled, the audience cheered their approval while Aronofsky and his cast shared congratulatory hugs in their seats.
Hundreds of fans had lined for hours outside Toronto’s Roy Thomson Hall to catch a glimpse of Natalie Portman, who stars as an ambitious ballerina performing in a production of Swan Lake, as well as co-stars Winona Ryder, Vincent Cassel, and Barbara Hershey. (Mila Kunis, who plays Portman’s rival, was unable to attend due to the shooting schedule of her upcoming rom-com Friends with Benefits.) The screening was one of the hottest tickets at this year’s festival, with movie buffs eager to see Aronofsky’s follow-up to The Wrestler, which played in Toronto back in 2008. Black Swan had already cause a sensation earlier this month after its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival, where critics hailed it as everything from a “masterpiece” to an “instant guilty pleasure.”