Birds of Paradise review – Amazon’s ballet drama is no Black Swan

The surreal film, based on the book Bright Burning Stars, paints a too-chilly portrait of an erotic, competitive friendship between two ballerinasTwo beautiful, lithe, painfully thin dancers compete for a coveted spot in a ruthless ballet program, come together and apart as two halves of a whole amid drugs, hallucinations and sex until one breaks.

You’d be right in thinking this sounds like the plot to Black Swan, the 2010 psychological drama from film-maker Darren Aronofsky that earned Natalie Portman a best actress Oscar.

(Mila Kunis played her rival/love interest/colleague/friend.) It’s also essentially the arch of Birds of Paradise, a surreal ballerina drama released on Amazon this week, which flies awfully close to its critically acclaimed predecessor (down to the avian-themed title) and pales in comparison.Related: Intrusion review – Netflix home invasion thriller passes muster

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