USA | 2010 | 108 minutes | 14A
Nina (Natalie Portman) is a ballerina whose passion for the dance rules every facet of her life. When the company’s artistic director decides to replace his prima ballerina for their opening production of “Swan Lake,” Nina is his first choice. She has competition in newcomer Lily (Mila Kunis) however. While Nina is perfect for the role of the White Swan, Lily personifies the Black Swan. As rivalry between the two dancers transforms into a twisted friendship, Nina’s dark side begins to emerge.
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Cast: Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel, Barbara Hershey, Winona Ryder
We are deep into spooky season and November is the extra creepy, extra dreary month. It’s the perfect time to watch this dark masterpiece and lean farther into the horror of the season. Black Swan is a dream-state thriller and a deconstruction of a road to perfection. Darren Aronofsky sets a relentless pace, and presents the effort, sweat, grime and pain of these artistic athletes and their determination through mirrors and metaphor.
In all this striving on-screen and off, the director shows restraint. Storytelling this sweeping can easily become self-indulgent, verging on onanism. However, Aronofsky has gifted us with a film that allows the viewer to indulge in our own fears, insecurities and perversions. Lucky us! – VANYA GARRAWAY
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