Black Swan

Black Swan


A psychological thriller from Darren Aronofsky (director of The Wrestler and Requiem for a Dream). Follows the story of Nina (Natalie Portman in an Academy, BAFTA and Golden Globe winning performance), a ballerina in a New York City ballet company whose life is completely consumed with dance.... More

When artistic director Thomas Leroy (Vincent Cassel) decides to replace prima ballerina Beth MacIntyre (Winona Ryder) for the opening production of their new season, Swan Lake, Nina takes centre stage. But there's competition: new dancer, Lily (Mila Kunis). Swan Lake requires a dancer to play both the White Swan with innocence and grace, and the Black Swan who represents guile and sensuality. Nina fits the White Swan role, but Lily is the personification of the Black Swan. As they expand their rivalry into a twisted friendship, Nina gets in touch with her dark side with a recklessness that threatens to destroy her.Hide

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Flicks Review

Darren Aronofsky cements his place as one of the most exciting directors working in Hollywood, with this audacious psychological thriller. Using the closeted world of ballet as a stage for paranoia and delusion, Black Swan is a hallucinatory escapade into the repressed mind of a young dancer struggling to achieve artistic perfection.... More

Aronofsky continues his naturalistic verite camerawork from The Wrestler, although this time the world is nightmarish and off-kilter, aided by ominous sound design and a colour palette that largely sticks to black and white with the occasional touch of pink – note the frilly decorations and stuffed toys in Nina (Portman)’s childlike bedroom. The claustrophobic, tense experience cribs generously from early Polanski, especially the sexually-charged Repulsion.

As young ballerina Nina Sayers, Natalie Portman offers a career-best performance, portraying her character as a naïve and sheltered loser, unpopular amongst her catty peers and lacking in confidence. The entire film plays out through her eyes and we never leave her headspace – her confusion becomes ours. The supporting characters either attempt to subdue her sexual potential (Winona Ryder, Barbara Hershey) or bait it (Vincent Cassel, Mila Kunis).

Black Swan is a theatrical experience. Often thrillingly close to the ridiculous, Aronofsky wants us to buy into the fun. He’s not taking it too seriously. Climactic moments may induce nervous sniggering from audiences but such grandiose camp makes for a flamboyant and vivid contemporary classic.Hide

The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 46 ratings, 55 reviews
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Darren Aronofsky, like Chris Nolan, is a great director. The woefully 'Fountain' pretentiousness 'The Fountain' aside, I loved 'Requiem for a Dream' and 'Pi.' 'Black Swan' runs as a kind of twisted evil twin to Powell and Pressburger's 'The Red Shoes' and cinephiles who know that movie will get oodles more from this psycho-ballet-noir. Dark and disturbinbg, beautifully performed and directed, this is like David Lynch's 'Blue Velvet' goes ballet. Gripping, haunting and oddly old fashioned -... More James Mason and Dirk Bogard wouldn't be out of place. Don't go if you don't like melodrama - you'll just find it's over-the-top histrionics and swan-fuelled hysteria a tad hard to swallow. But give yourself over to it and it's great...

Look at that, a whole 'Black Swan' review and I didn't even mention the pervy scene between Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis... Oh! Wait a minute... Dowh!!!Hide

BY JayC4Shaw superstar

I'm telling you right now - If your one who doesn't like to see "into" a movie or behind the upfront intentions of what the director is showing you, you will HATE this movie.

The story behind the story drawing glimpses of her past and hints of her future are trully encaptivating. I loved it.

Very awesome and grand! beautiful dancing really. And very very beautiful story. Loved it!!!

This was a movie I definately wasn't expecting to be so deep. Quite horrific but VERY interesting to see something different for a change. Thought that Portman did an amaazing job in her role. Big thumbs up.

Although the acting performances were brilliant I thought the storyline left something to be desired. There was little character development (the lead character starts off unlikeable and a little unhinged and gets more so in both regards) - I found it impossible to empathise with any of the characters.

The story was also fairly predictable - there were no big surprises - and I found the symbolism a bit "film school" - obvious and not very well developed.

BY Gambit70 grader

Self indulgent and tedious.

Natalie's acting was actually pretty good, and Mila was ok too. So what was the problem?

The movie does keep you watching... trying to figure out what how much is real and how much is in the poor girl's head.. but ultimately the movie is just plain unsatisfying.

At the end I was torn between "WTF?" and "I just don't care"

Showing 5 of 55 reviews. See all reviews

The Press Reviews

87% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • A full-bore melodrama, told with passionate intensity, gloriously and darkly absurd. It centers on a performance by Natalie Portman that is nothing short of heroic. Full Review

  • Director Darren Aronovsky has a way with the grand gesture and the doomed protagonist. In Pi he had his lead character drill a hole in his own head, rather than spend another day tormented by being so good at maths. Full Review

  • An extraordinary, intoxicating movie. Its hard, twisted edges may turn off some, but there's no faulting either Aronofsky's technical mastery or Portman's flawless performance. Full Review

  • Natalie Portman excels in this gripping ballet psychodrama... Full Review

  • Indeed, White Swan/Black Swan dynamics almost work, but the horror-movie nonsense drags everything down the rabbit hole of preposterousness. Full Review

  • The most toxic, rapturous, melodramatic, operatic movie about a mentally disintegrating ballerina you’ll see all year… And featuring some of the best dance sequences ever. Full Review

  • A wicked, sexy and ultimately devastating study of a young dancer's all-consuming ambition, Black Swan serves as a fascinating complement to Darren Aronofsky's "The Wrestler," trading the grungy world of a broken-down fighter for the more upscale but no less brutal sphere of professional ballet. Full Review

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