Black Swan [2010]

Black Swan [2010]

Black Swan [2010]
Directors: Darren Aronofsky
Genre: Drama/Thriller
Language: English
Country: USA

Man, does Darren Aronofsky ever disappoint? Black Swan, his latest film, is among his best work. The movie is about ballet — rather, the dark side of ballet. Natalie Portman stars as Nina Sayers, a ballerina working for a prestigious New York ballet company. She has been performing for years but has yet to obtain her big breakthrough. This finally happens when there is an opening for the lead role in the big Swan Lake play. However, her director (Vincent Cassel) believes she is a strong fit for the innocent “White Swan” but not the evil “Black Swan” — the problem being that she is required to play both. The pressure to succeed at both roles becomes harder and harder, and it begins to take a toll on Nina. Her ridiculous amount of stress is not aided by her overbearing mother (Barbara Hershey), and Nina is also feeling intimidated by a newcomer (Mila Kunis) who she believes is out to steal her job.

As with any Aronofsky film, Black Swan follows the self-destruction of the lead character. Nina Sayers feels as if she has the weight of the world on her shoulders. There is sexual tension caused by her director, jealousy caused by the newcomer, and an unbelievable amount of pressure from her mother who is living vicariously through her daughter. All of this causes Nina to slowly begin to spiral out of control, and yeah, some fucked up shit happens.

Much has been said of Portman’s performance, and the overwhelming praise is well-deserved. She is simply phenomenal in this movie, and if she doesn’t win an Oscar for this it will be a damn shame. The amount of work she put into learning the ballet is unreal. The rest of the cast is just amazing as well, everyone from the sleazy Cassel to the gorgeous Kunis (who continues to improve with every role). I would be remiss not to mention the exceptional work done by Clint Mansell with the soundtrack — the classical music choices have been twisted to give this movie a very, very dark feel.

If I were to have one complaint, it would be the shaky camerawork that is prevalent during the first part of the movie. More of a minor inconvenience than anything, but still noteworthy.

Truth be told, Black Swan is just an all-around brilliant movie. I had no idea the world of ballet could be so disturbing. Hell, I could care less about ballet in general, so it says a lot that I was hooked through this movie all the way through. Black Swan is one of the best movies from 2010, and it is one that will surely leave a lasting impression on you as well. I cannot recommend this enough.

9/10

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