Directed by DARREN ARONOFSKY
Starring NATALIE PORTMAN, MILA KUNIS, VINCENT CASSEL, and WINONA RYDER
'The Black Swan' is Natalie Portman's piece de resistance performance. She looked, danced, and felt like a prima ballerina. Excluding one scene, which I could have done without, this was a good film.
As I said, there was one scene that I could have done without. The film got a little "skinimax" for a minute with a love scene between the two leads, Natalie and Mila Kunis (Book of Eli and Family Guy). I for one don't see the necessity for such scenes. There should be something left the imagination in film. However, excluding that one scene, this was a great film. Natalie Portman gave the performance of her life. Vincent Cassel was also fantastic (best known in America for his roles in Eastern Promises, Ocean's Twelve, and The Messenger). Admittedly, Mila was pretty good too. Although I thought her role could have been cast a little better, one could tell that Mila gave her all to the project.
Plot: Nina (Natalie) and Lily (Mila) are members of an elite New York City ballet company, which is directed by Thomas (Vincent). The company's next production is Swan Lake. The production of Swan Lake requires a prima ballerina who can play both the white and the black swan. The drama starts as Thomas decides to replace the previous prima ballerina Beth, portrayed by Winona Ryder, with Nina and Lily as Nina's alternate.
Due to the intense competitiveness and rivalry, Nina starts to slowly unravel, thus beginning the doppleganger storyline. As Nina grows increasingly delusional and paranoid of Lily, the movie storyline starts to mirror the storyline of Swan Lake. Barbara Hershey also stars and beautifully portrays Nina's controlling stage mother.
As the story follows Nina's nervous breakdown to it's ultimate conclusion, the beauty of the film and the dance cannot be denied. This is most definitely an art house film, so if you're not into that then don't see this movie.
THREE - 1/2 STARS OUT OF FIVE