Review - Black Swan

Black Swan (2010), R, 108 minutes - The latest film from Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan is driven by Natalie Portman's performance as a newly promoted ballerina and her relationship with her theater manager (Vincent Cassel) and a rival dancer (Mila Kunis).

Nina Sayers (Portman) is one of the ballerina's being considered for the lead role in a new staging of Swan Lake (taking over for Beth Macintyre, the long running lead played by Winona Ryder). The theater manager, Thomas Leroy, doesn't believe that Nina has it in her to portray both parts that he requires for this re-invisioning of Swan Lake. She confronts him about it and, after biting him when he makes a pass at her, lands the role as he sees the 'imperfection' in her that he was looking for for the part. Black Swan proceeds from there, exploring Nina's psychological transformation into the ballerina that she needs to become the lead.

Black Swan is full of strong performances. Not only out of Portman, but from Cassel, Kunis, and Ryder in her limited screen time as well. I had heard and read about how good Natalie Portman's role was online (and it is that good), but what really surprised me was Mila Kunis' part. Between The Book of Eli and Black Swan this year, she's come a long way from That 70's Show.

Much like he did with The Wrestler, Darren Aronofsky really opens a window into what it is like to be in his character's world. It is a strength his that really gives his films a distinct feel.

If you're into Aronofsky directed films, or like trippy, psycho-thrillers, be sure to check out Black Swan.


There were two parallels that I really enjoyed throughout Black Swan:

1) Nina's transformation into the paranoid lead, the paranoid lead that she felt sorry for when it was Beth (Winona Ryder).

2) The final scene where Nina leaps to her death (both figuratively and literally), ending the same way that The Wrestler did. This is fitting as Aronofsky has gone on record as saying that at one point he wanted to make both films as one, exploring the relationship between a wrestler and a ballerina.


  1. There is one scene that will cause an unknown number of guys to go see Black Swan, whether or not they had any other interest, and that is a pretty hot and heavy Kunis on Portman love scene. Pretty hot and heavy considering that there isn't any actual nudity in the shots. Thanks to my friend Gavin for reminding me. Apparently the Nyquil was hitting me pretty hard when I originally wrote this review.


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