Black Swan is a psychological thriller from filmmaker Darren Aronofsky and stars Natalie Portman. Nina Sayers (Portman) is a ballerina obsessed with perfecting her craft; her company’s next show will be Swan Lake. Nina desperately wants the role of Odette—the white swan/black swan; and her director Thomas Leroy (Vincent Cassel) would give her the role if he were only casting the white swan, but he has concerns that Nina is too pure and can’t embody what’s necessary to play the black swan.
After Nina shows Thomas she can do both roles he casts her as the lead; as Nina lets her baser desires out, her overbearing mother (Barbara Hershey), tries to stop Nina from “destroying herself,” believing that her daughter can’t handle the darkness. Throw in Nina’s understudy Lily (Mila Kunis), who already seems to be the embodiment of the black swan and seems to be out for her role, and the lines between reality and fantasy/madness are quickly blurred. The film does a great job of making you question what you just saw on screen and will warrant multiple viewings to catch all the nuances.
Portman and Aronofsky first started talking about making this movie back in 2000 and it was well worth the wait. Portman won the Oscar for her role and rightfully so, she does such an amazing job of playing the pure girl who starts to embrace the darker aspects of life and gets so caught up in it; plus the dancing she does is a sight to behold. Barbara Hershey plays the overbearing stage mother and failed ballerina who’s living vicariously through her daughter so believably I couldn’t fathom having to deal with someone like that; and Mila Kunis impressively plays the bad girl.
Black Swan is 1080p/AVC-encoded and looks visually impressive; the movie looks excellent. The blacks and whites of the various outfits on stage look crisp and well defined and never wash the actors out. The brilliance of the strobe effects while during certain club scenes are also dazzling.