Black Swan

"Extraordinary"

Black Swan Review


Aronofsky takes his usual bravura cinematic approach to this harrowing psychological thriller set in a New York ballet company. Not only is it unlike any film we've ever seen, but it leaves us shaken by its boldly evocative themes.

In a noted ballet company, Nina (Portman) is a rising star who's up for the lead in a new production of Swan Lake. She's fiercely aware of the fact that the previous lead ballerina (Ryder) has been casually discarded while younger newcomer Lilly (Kunis) is already threatening Nina's position. Or is Nina just being paranoid? As opening night approaches, Nina begins to clash with everyone around her, from Lilly to her mercurial director (Cassel) and domineering mother (Hershey). And reality starts slipping out of her grasp.

As with The Wrestler and Requiem for a Dream, Aronofsky takes us deep into the mind of the central character. We experience Nina's crippling self-doubt in ways that are unnerving and sometimes horrifying. As she prepares for her starring debut, her perception spirals wildly out of control, and in Aronofsky's hands the result is thrilling cinema that has us gasping at the audacity of it all. The way he lyrically blends the ballet with the backstage drama is literally breathtaking, weaving Clint Mansell's original music with the classic Tchaikovsky score.

But is Nina paranoid, or is Lilly really trying to steal her position? This blurred question allows Portman and Kunis to skilfully bring the script's detailed layers onto the screen (although Aronofsky helps them with insinuating sound and visual trickery). Meanwhile, Cassel delivers another of his fearlessly complex performances, and Hershey and Ryder are terrific as rather unstable older divas.

This is a haunting, intimate film that blends fantasy and reality to cleverly explore how it must feel to rise to a level of celebrity that most could only dream of. Watching Nina let go of her innocence is truly terrifying, leading to an intense final act that will leave audiences shattered (and either loving or hating the film). In the end, it's a provocative, powerful story about how you might have to completely lose yourself if you want to be a star.



Black Swan

Facts and Figures

Genre: Dramas

Run time: 108 mins

In Theaters: Friday 17th December 2010

Box Office USA: $107.0M

Box Office Worldwide: $327.8M

Budget: $13M

Distributed by: Fox Searchlight

Production compaines: Dune Entertainment, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Cross Creek Pictures, Protozoa Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 87%
Fresh: 237 Rotten: 36

IMDB: 8.0 / 10

Cast & Crew

Producer: Scott Franklin, , , Brian Oliver

Starring: as Nina, as Thomas Leroy, as Erica, as Lilly, as Beth MacIntyre, Chris Gartin as Handsome scott, as Veronica, as Tom, as Madeline, as Galina, as Costume Mistress, Deborah Offner as Susie, Adriene Couvillion as Violinist, Shaun O'Hagan as Stage Manager, as Andrew, Benjamin Millepied as David, Sergio Torrado as Sergio, as Mr. Fithian, as Mrs. Fithian, Abraham Aronofsky as Mr. Stein, Charlotte Aronofsky as Mrs. Stein

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Imperium Movie Review

Imperium Movie Review

First-time filmmaker Daniel Ragussis takes an unusual approach to this thriller. Since it's based on...

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

Like a 10-years-later follow-up to 28 Days Later, this small British thriller takes a refreshingly...

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic...

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

As it's been 12 years since the last Bridget Jones movie, expectations aren't too high...

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

A-list director Ron Howard worked with the surviving Beatles to assemble this engaging documentary, which...

Blair Witch Movie Review

Blair Witch Movie Review

It's been 17 years since The Blair Witch Project shook up the cinema and created...

Anthropoid Movie Review

Anthropoid Movie Review

Outside the Czech Republic, few people know about Operation Anthropoid, a spy mission in 1943...

Advertisement
Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

From Laika (The Boxtrolls), this is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated animated films in...

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

An offbeat comedy-drama with a timely kick, this charming family road trip takes on some...

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan delivers another fiercely intelligent, engaging story that maintains high suspense while...

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

With heavy overtones of Hitchcockian mystery and intrigue, this stylish thriller is the enjoyably melodramatic...

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

The 1989 Muay Thai action movie Kickboxer starred a young Jean-Claude Van Damme, who pops...

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

An astute satire of the pop music business, this raucous mock-documentary is consistently hilarious from...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.