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DVD Review: Black Swan

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After watching Black Swan for the very first time, I must admit I was absolutely captivated by the story and each character. I don’t find myself watching a lot of darker films, but I had to know what all the hype was about.

Directed by the innovative Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan is beautifully portrayed film about a ballerina trying to tap into her dark side while she mentally spirals out of control. Natalie Portman as the Black Swan. Credit: FOX/ThinkJam

Natalie Portman stars as Nina, a ballerina in the New York Ballet that is determined to make it. She lands the coveted role of the Swan Queen in the company’s upcoming production of Swan Lake.

Ever so similar to the innocent White Swan, Nina is challenged by her artistic
director Thomas Leroy (Vincent Cassel) to loosen up and let go to become the Black Swan. Lily (Mila Kunis) is a new dancer in the ballet company’ she seems to personify the Black Swan, intimidating, yet intriguing Nina.

Beginning to feel the pressure from the production and expectations from her overbearing mother (Barbara Hershey), Nina’s reality becomes warped with delusions. Her desire to become the Black Swan is truly the beginning of the end. 

Natalie Portman’s performance as Nina is just stunning. To watch her character go through various mental states is heartbreaking, yet also moving. Her Oscar win was more than well-deserved.

The extras on the DVD version of the film are minimal, yet still very interesting to watch. Along with the film, the lone feature is called, Metamorphosis, a behind-the-scenes documentary with Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky.

Aronofsky really guides you through the important aspects of the film. From shooting the exterior scenes to the choreography to finding a stage to shoot on, the documentary is truly an inside look at what went on during the making of the film. The documentary also includes some insight from Natalie Portman, Vincent Cassel and Mila Kunis. You also get to hear from Black Swan’s cinematographer, producers, set designer, and writer. If you enjoyed the film, the documentary is definitely a treat to watch.

Between the film and the documentary, the DVD version of Black Swan is pretty satisfying. If I could have added an additional feature for the DVD, I would have included a version of the film with commentary from the cast and crew.

Black Swan starring Natalie Portman is available on DVD now.

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About Kirsten Coachman

Kirsten Coachman is a writer and editor from the San Francisco Bay Area. Visit her long-running music blog, Wait...WHAT, at waitwhatmusic.net. Follow Kirsten Coachman on Twitter: @KirsCoachman
  • Either you didn’t see a lot of movies or have poor taste. By the way, Christopher Reeve didn’t really fly in Superman either.

  • Jaim

    I still do not know how I feel about this movie nor what I’m supposed to take from it. I saw it in the theater. Maybe Requiem for a Dream’s intensity and shocking imagery ruined me for any of Aronofsky’s other films. Requiem still gives me chills. I had quite a visceral reaction to that film. Black Swan left me ambivalent.

  • Personally, I wasn’t shocked that she didn’t do the majority of the dancing. If she had, she could have gotten injured and delayed filming. I thought her actual acting performance was really good.

  • Heloise

    oops, I meant to say “I saw last year.

  • Heloise

    I thought it was one of the worst movies I’ve saw last year. I saw it at the theater. Mila Kunis was great and did not get recognized. As for the “star” I knew she didn’t dance a lick. If she danced in that movie so did I. What a ripoff.