First off, I wanted to say that my sister Kiersten wrote a really great review of Black Swan on her blog The Wooden Bookshelf that you may like to read...One of the reasons I really wanted to see this film (besides all the amazing reviews) is that it's been rumored that Natalie Portman trained with a ballet company for over a year to prepare for her role as a troubled prima ballerina. I also love Tchaikovsky's ballet Swan Lake, and knew it was an integral part of the story. That being said, I was absolutely RIVETED by this movie! From the costumes, to the choreography, the haunting music, and the stunning visual imagery of director Darren Aronofsky (The Fountain), this movie had me on the edge of my seat from the beginning to its dramatic final conclusion.
Black Swan tells the story of Nina Sayers, a dancer auditioning for the role of a lifetime as the Swan Queen in the classic ballet Swan Lake. Nina has the technique and precision required for the part, but lacks the emotional passion needed to play the dual role of both the white and black swan. Although Nina is given the lead, the pressures of perfection, coupled with a psychotic mother, a task master director, and a rivalry with newcomer ballerina Lily (Mila Kunis, That 70's Show) drive her to an emotional and physical breaking point. The line between reality and fantasy becomes blurred as Nina descends into her dark new role, and subsequent sexual awakening.
I would like to warn my readers that this movie is not for the faint of heart. It definitely earns its R rating with drug use, gore, profanity, and strong sexual content. However, I hope that won't dissuade you from seeing one of the best movies (and best performances) of the year. There is already a Golden Globe nomination and Oscar buzz for Portman, and it's no surprise; it seems as if she was made to play this role. I hope you have the opportunity to see Black Swan on the big screen, so as to fully appreciate Aronofsky's brilliant cinematic vision. Happy viewing!