The Gist: Frigid, sexually repressed ballerina with mommy issues experiences a psychotic break and thinks she's becoming a bird.
Favorite line: “That was me seducing you. It needs to be the other way around” - Thomas Leroy
Favorite Scene: As she dances the Black Swan her arms sprout feathers and become black wings.
What is there not to say about this film? Natalie Portman is exquisite and Vincent Cassel is bold and flawlessly arrogant as Thomas, the Company Director.
Ballerina Nina wants to be the Principal for her Companies latest production, making her Princess Odette in Swan Lake. To do this she must embody the pure White Swan; in which grace and precise execution of the dance is required (which she has in abundance). But she must also become the dark twin, the Black Swan, and portray a sensual devil-may-care attitude. She's instructed to let the dance consume her, to "lose control" to become perfect. The challenge is something she as a perfectionist cannot handle.
Being a relatively clever girl she manages to snag the part by allowing Thomas to glimpse a little of the darkness in her. But it becomes clear her soft spoken little self may not be able to carry it off. Over a period of time she falls deeper into depression. Everything starts to slip away and to achieve the sensuality and darkness of the Black Swan she literally loses her mind and becomes one. Her skin becomes scaled, her feet webbed, her legs buckle into frankly fucked up positions ... her psyche splinters, and ultimately the walls of her reality shatter. This was shown to marvelous effect by all those huge mirrors and deviant reflections that awed me.
During this chilling spiral into madness she fabricates encounters with Lily (Mila Kunis), a sexy ballerina who is actually trying to be her friend. In comes Nina’s lesbian wet dream, which I am sure the guys enjoyed, but it was tasteful enough to give my gag reflex a rest.
The opening sequence gets your heart pumping with all those extreme close ups and shots of Nina dancing the White Swan; captivated in Rothbart's spell. The film has a clean feel to it .. cool and de-saturated colors, which gives the entire thing an austere tone.
Oh, and her mother freaked me out. She was (in my mind) the significant catalyst that induced her daughters breakdown and final show stopping demise.
Go see it. A great film and the running time is not excessive.
Directed by; Darren Aronofsky
Runnign time: 108 min