Actress Natalie Portman is lapping up all good comments coming from the critics' quarter for her latest movie Black Swan, which debuted as the opening picture at the ongoing Venice film festival. The reviewers say her performance catapults her to become a major star, even a top contender for the Oscars.

The 29-year-old actress plays a New York ballerina who is obsessed with technical perfection and how jealousy about a rival dancer consumes her mind and body.

The movie has elements of violence, supernatural and a much talked about sex scene with her fellow female lead as she goes on an emotional rollercoaster ride in the powerful and gripping drama.

The Hollywood Reporter's Kirk Honeycutt has described her acting a bravura performance. Even her co-star Mila Kunis also wins praise for playing a perfect alternate to Portman. Portman said her latest role which is daring and darker than her previous roles did not mean she would say goodbye to the mainstream Hollywood roles and concentrate only on arty, intellectual stuff. Black Swan is set for its U.S. release in December.