New York City ballet dancer Nina (Natalie Portman) enters into an intense battle of wills with a talented and ambitious new arrival (Mila Kunis) who seems intent on edging her out of the spotlight in this supernatural-flavored psychological thriller from director Darren Aronofsky. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Cast: Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel, Barbara Hershey, Winona Ryder.
Release Date: Dec 03, 2010
Rated R for strong sexual content, disturbing violent images, language and some drug use
Runtime: 1 hr. 43 min.
Macabre, mystifying and absolutely engrossing, Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan is an operatic dark fair tale. Aronofsky, shooting mostly via handheld camera, creates an impressively arresting tale that has a sense of immediacy and intensity from the first frame of the film. While the actual plot is fairly simplistic, Aronofsky’s ability to take us through the throws of insanity and lunacy by showing the character’s crumbling reality elevates it’s into high art. While it stumbles on a few occasions in particular near the finale, deciding to be overly visual with the extended metaphor which leads into unintended camp. Natalie Portman shines in a meticulously measured performance. Her beautiful but emaciated figure walks and dances through the film in a detached but dedicated haze. Portman and Barbara Hershey share some excellent chemistry with forays into Nina’s disturbing homelife which display the levels of arrested development in play. Vincent Cassel is appropriately sleazy as the lothario dance director. Mila Kunis isn’t asked to do much of depth here and is mostly a one dimensional foil. Aronofsky’s Black Swan is a beautiful film that occasionally borders on high class horror.