Nina (Portman) is a ballerina in a New York City ballet company whose life, like all those in her profession, is completely consumed with dance. She lives with her obsessive former ballerina mother Erica (Hershey) who exerts a suffocating control over her. When artistic director Thomas Leroy (Cassel) decides to replace prima ballerina Beth MacIntyre (Ryder) for the opening production of their new season, Swan Lake, Nina is his first choice. But Nina has competition: a new dancer, Lily (Kunis), who impresses Leroy as well. Swan Lake requires a dancer who can play both the White Swan with innocence and grace, and the Black Swan, who represents guile and sensuality. Nina fits the White Swan role perfectly but Lily is the personification of the Black Swan. As the two young dancers expand their rivalry into a twisted friendship, Nina begins to get more in touch with her dark side – a recklessness that threatens to destroy her. Written by Fox Searchlight Pictures
Black Swan has got a lot of buzz attached to it, mostly because of Natalie Portman. It’s Darren Aronofsky’s take on ballet, ballerina.competition, anorexia and mental illness. So, I thought the movie itself was a bit overwrought, a little over the top, but Natalie Portman is absolutely transcendent. Apparently, she was a dancer in her youth and has clearly trained her brains out and starved herself for this role. It also has a great supporting cast. Her mother is played by Barbara Hershey as truly a gorgon. Her competitors are played by Winona Ryder and Mila Kunis as a snotty competitor. But, I would give this movie three and a half stars, but mostly for Natalie Portman. Oh, I also forgot the wonderful Vincent Cassel who was so electric in Messerine: public enemy number who one plays the ballet master, and he is electric. So, all in all, terrific performances. The movie could have been toned down a little bit, but all in all worth seeing.