Movie Details

Black Swan

Nina (Natalie Portman) is a ballerina in a New York City ballet company whose life, like all those in her profession, is completely consumed with dancing. She lives with her retired ballerina mother, Erica (Hershey) who zealously supports her daughter's ambitions. When artistic director Thomas Leroy (Vincent Cassel) decides to replace prima ballerina Beth MacIntyre (Wynona Ryder) for the opening production of their new season, Swan Lake, Nina is his first choice. But Nina has competition in a new dancer, Lily ( Mila Kunis), who impresses Leroy as well. Swan Lake requires a dancer who can play both the White Swan with innocence and grace, as well as 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 with a recklessness that threatens to destroy her.

Language: English
Subtitle: Na
Classification: 18
General Release Date: 24 Feb 2011
Genre: Thriller / Drama / Mystery / Suspense
Running Time: 1 Hour 50 Minutes
Distributor: 20TH CENTURY FOX
Cast: Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel, Winona Ryder, Barbara Hershey
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Format: 35MM

"You may only select up to 5 movies for the My Favourite Movies list. Please remove movie(s) from My Favourite Movies list if you wish to select a new title."
Writer: Anne Jamaludin

Writer Ratings:
Overall: 3.5 Out of 5
Cast: 3.5 Out of 5
Plot: 3.5 Out of 5
Effects: 3.5 Out of 5
Cinematography: 3.0 Out of 5

Watch this if you liked: “The Turning Point”, “Rosemary’s Baby”, “The Virgin Suicides”

"Black Swan" is more than just a dance movie; it is an art at its rarest form. It starts out from the view of a besotted ballet dancer named Nina (Natalie Portman) who in her whole entire life had been personally groomed by her own mother, a retired ballerina named Erica (Barbara Hershey) to fulfil a mother's broken dreams. In Nina's life, she only aspires to be only one thing - the prima ballerina, the most sought-after 'Swan Queen' of New York City Ballet Company. After a reckless action on her side, she is given the luck to fill in the coveted seat after the former Swan Queen, Beth (Winona Ryder) is forced to retire to give way to a much fresh, young girl much to her bitterness. Nina believes she is perfect as both the White Swan as well as Black Swan role and thinks she is at the highest point of her life. That is until, the ballet director Thomas Leroy (Vincent Cassel) who initially plays around her sexuality to help her immerse as the seductive Black Swan starts to focus his attention on another naturally alluring dancer, Lily (Mila Kunis) who embodies the Black Swan persona perfectly. Driven by jealousy, Nina starts to see and do things she has never been capable to ever do before.

Director Darren Aronofsky's direction is if not perfect, it is beyond flawless. He takes in every detail intelligently that the audience will feel engaged and just like Nina, smitten with the beautiful but dark ballet world. This sinister psychological thriller will lull the audience with the soft minuets and real musical pieces from "Swan Lake" at one point before pushing the adrenaline rush with a few nerve-wrecking scenes. Audience will express sympathy for Nina's character and also pulled into her own confusion at the same time.

Portman's acting stands out so much, it is deserving of her Oscar nomination and Golden Globe award for her critically-acclaimed role as the insecure, self-consumed and jealous Nina. For a woman so confident of her physique and sensuality, Portman delivers a disturbingly beautiful performance as a dancer as well as an actor. She has indeed matured compared to her previous movie roles and in "Black Swan" for the first time, audience will be able to witness Portman's inhumanely emotional transition towards the climax of the movie. Meanwhile Hershey's portrayal as a jealous and overbearing mother does not take long for audience to realize that some psychological problems might be caused genetically or through one's home environment.

Overall, "Black Swan" is a seductive, shady psycho-thriller that is a must-watch for such genre's fans. It will certainly leave a very black spot of impression within one's self that sometimes within true art; pain, blood, suffering, decays and death might just exist.

Cinema Online, 31 January 2011

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