Written by: Mary Heyman, Andres Heinz and John McLaughlin
Directed by: Darren Aronofsky
Released: December 3, 2010 by Fox Searchlight
Summary: Nina 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 who exerts a suffocating control over her. When artistic director Thomas Leroy decides to replace prima ballerina Beth MacIntyre for the opening production of their new season, Swan Lake, Nina is his first choice. But Nina has competition: a new dancer, Lily, 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.
I have wanted to see this film ever since I first heard about it; it sounded so different and interesting, not to mention intriguing. And while I’m completely happy that I saw this movie, I just wish that I hadn’t gone with my mother. There are just some things that are incredibly uncomfortable to watch while a parent is sitting beside you, and lesbian love scenes are one of them.
However, a movie shouldn’t necessarily be judged on the uncomfortable parts, so I’m setting that traumatic experience aside and focusing on the movie itself.
The psychological aspects of this film are of the variety that you may need to watch more than once – I know that I will in order to comprehend it all. The way that this film takes the classic idea behind All About Eve and combines it with both the premise of Swan Lake and the actual ballet. The genius combination has left me blown away at the mere thought of it.
Both Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis are phenomenal in their roles. Portman portrays the lead with such ferocity that her descent into the black swan is one that you can almost feel as the translation from the screen is that brilliant. Plus her interaction with the supporting characters like her mother and the ballet directors is riveting; I couldn’t stop wondering what was going to happen next and how Portman’s character would react.
This is the type of movie where it would ruin it if I gave too much away. However, I will warn you that it’s not a film for a younger audience. It has a lot of sexual material and the psychological relationships wouldn’t be understood by someone who wasn’t mature enough to handle them. Heck, I know that I’m going to have to watch it again to catch some of the smaller nuances. Still, it’s a brilliant film and worth a 10/10 rating.