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Black Swan is a 2010 American psychological horror-thriller film directed by Darren Aronofsky. The screenplay was written by Mark Heyman, John McLaughlin, and Andres Heinz, based on an original story by Heinz. The film stars Natalie Portman, Vincent Cassel, Mila Kunis, Barbara Hershey, and Winona Ryder.
Nina (Natalie Portman) is a ballerina whose passion for the dance rules every facet of her life. When the company's artistic director decides to replace his prima ballerina for their opening production of "Swan Lake," Nina is his first choice. She has competition in newcomer Lily (Mila Kunis) however. While Nina is perfect for the role of the White Swan, Lily personifies the Black Swan. As rivalry between the two dancers transforms into a twisted friendship, Nina's dark side begins to emerge.
Why It Rocks
- It can be described as a metaphor for achieving artistic perfection and how it can seriously harm a person both physically and mentally.
- Amazing performance from Natalie Portman as Nina Sayers.
- The ballet dancing is well choreographed.
- It was allegedly inspired by Satoshi Kon's feature film debut Perfect Blue.
- An uneven plot filled with twists and turns.
- Nina is an incredibly sympathetic female character. This makes you feel for her whenever something bad happens to her, like a hallucination.
- Extremely scary moments, such as Nina's hallucinations and when Beth stabs herself with a knife in the face.
- Even when some scenes aren't scary, there are some very unsettling moments, such as the sex scene with Nina and Lily.
- The injuries depicted on Nina are nightmare-fuel.
- It has little to no jump scares. Even when there is one, it's usually unexpected, such as the bathtub scene. It also relies heavily on suspense and dread.
- Well-done and terrifying musical score that was composed by Clint Mansell.
- Much like Darren Aronofsky's other films, it has nightmarish and disturbing elements to it.
- The film starts slow, but right around the middle of the second act, it starts to become one hell of an incredible piece of cinema.
- Aronofsky uses what he learned from The Wrestler and Requiem for a Dream to create this masterpiece of a movie.
- The dance double controversy.
- Sometimes the emotional roller coaster can drag on to the point where it feels like too much.
Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gives the film an approval rating of 85% based on reviews from 297 reviews and an average rating of 8.18/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Bracingly intense, passionate, and wildly melodramatic, Black Swan glides on Darren Aronofsky's bold direction—and a bravura performance from Natalie Portman." At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score out to reviews, the film received an average score of 79 out of 100, based on 42 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".