Friday, 28 January 2011

Black Swan

Year: 2010
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Screenplay: Mark Heyman, Andres Heinz, John McLaughlin
Starring: Natalie Portman, Vincent Cassel, Mila Kunis, Barbara Hershey, Winona Ryder
Running Time: 108 minutes
Genre: Drama, horror, thriller

Summary: A prestigious New York ballet company prepares for a production of Swan Lake. Ambitious young dancer, Nina Sayers (Portman), is desperate to dance the lead part of the Swan Queen. However, while Nina is perfect for the part of the pure, innocent, virginal White Swan, she is less naturally suited to the evil twin role of the seductive, manipulative Black Swan. Instead, uninhibited newcomer Lily (Knuis) seems perfect for the Black Swan part. In order to win the role of a lifetime, Nina has to delve into the depths of her own dark side.

Opinions: This film starts out as a dark meditation on the creative process and changes into a full-blown psychological horror film. It is powerful, featuring an intelligent script and a superb performance from Natalie Portman as the fragile dancer trapped in an insular, hyper-competitive world. Her performance is also intensely physical. In fact a lot of the film's horror resides in it's depiction of the painful, pressure cooker world of professional ballet. Shot throughout in a kind of mediaum close-up, Natalie Portman delivers a great perfomance which is complimented by impressive turns from Mila Kunis, as Nina's professional rivsl, and Vincent Cassel, as the sleazy and manipulative head of the company. Also impressive is Barbara Hershey as Nina's overprotective mother.
Although the horror movie elements in the second half of the film don't entirely work, this remains a powerful and impressive film.

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