It would be easy — and not especially inaccurate — to dismiss “Birds of Paradise
” as a YA riff on “Black Swan
,” but . Besides, the movie owes just as much to Luca Guadagnino
’s recent “Suspiria
” remake — if not for its supernatural menace, then at least for its witchy mood. Directed by Sarah Adina Smith
(“Buster’s Mal Heart
”), she brings texture to a conventional story about ultra-competitive teenage girls, turning it into something more like a crucible for the survival of their very souls.
Okay, so most YA adaptations are super derivative, but at least this one has style. And a real sense of danger. And Jacqueline Bisset
as a French dance instructor who refers to her students as “rats,” and lets them call her “le Diable” in return.
“Birds of Paradise
” begins as a fish-out-of-water story when a cash-strapped Virginia teen named Kate (“Booksmart” breakout Diana Silvers
) tiptoes into an elite