Opening in limited release, Darren Aronofsky's ballet-themed The Black Swan , is receiving a standing ovation from critics. Indeed Lou Lumenick of the New York Post applauds three times -- that's how many times he has seen it, he writes. It's "my favorite film of the year," he adds. "To induce a state of dread and mesmerize with beauty is a rare, paradoxical achievement," writes Claudia Puig in USA Today. Manohla Dargis in The New York Times inflates the oxymoron, calling the movie "visceral and real even while it's one delirious, phantasmagoric freakout." Singled out for special attention is the performance of Natalie Portman, which Joe Morgenstern in the Wall Street Journal calls "resplendently real" (although he finds fault with the "psychological banalities of The Script.") Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times calls it a "revelation," adding, "Somehow she goes over the top and yet stays in character Even at the extremes, you don't catch her acting." And Peter Howell in the Toronto Star writes "This is Portman's bid for Best Actress at the next Oscars, and it thrills to watch her go for it."