From wrestling to classical ballet, director Darren Aronofsky has crafted another exquisite cinematic exploration of identity and performance. Black Swan is psychologically thrilling cinema at its finest. As the artistic director of a world-class ballet company (a stand-in for the New York City Ballet), Thomas Leroy (Vincent Cassel), starts the new season by firing his vitriolic, aging prima ballerina (Winona Ryder). Lecherous and manipulative, Thomas decides to stage a new and cutting edge production of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, a ballet that requires one dancer to portray the two sides of the Swan Queen: the innocent and naïve White Swan and the sensual and seductive Black Swan. Few dancers have the talent to master this stark duality.
Nina (Natalie Portman) is a timid but dedicated dancer in the company. Like most ballerinas, dancing is her life and her overbearing mother (Barbara Hershey), a former ballerina, ensures that her life is comprised of nothing but ballet. In a state of continual childhood innocence, Nina dances by day and sleeps by night under the watchful eye of her suffocating mother. A technically flawless dancer, Nina is perfect for the role of the White Swan. But she lacks the passionate abandon that is needed for the other half of the role. When a new dancer, Lily (Mila Kunis), joins the company, she has all the sensual energy that Nina lacks. Intimidated by this power, Nina becomes obsessed with her rival and the two form an uneasy relationship where Lily tries to help Nina reveal her repressed dark side through drugs, sex and wild debauchery.
But as the role begins to consume her, strange things happen to Nina. Her body changes, as does her mind, and the line between the production and reality begins to blur in a terrifying transformation.
With stunning visuals and masterful performances, Black Swan combines a rare mix of beauty and grotesquerie to shape a remarkable narrative. Potent and dazzling, Aronofsky’s latest feature is a testament to his visionary talent. –TIFF.net
Darren Aronofsky was born February 12, 1969, in Brooklyn, New York. Growing up, Darren was always artistic: he loved classic movies and, as a teenager, he even spent time doing graffiti art. After high school, Darren went to Harvard University to study film (both live-action and animation). He won several film awards after completing his senior thesis film, “Supermarket Sweep”, starring Sean Gullette, which went on to becoming a National Student Academy Award finalist. Aronofsky didn’t make a feature film until five years later, in February 1996, where he began creating the concept for Pi (1998). After Darren’s script for Pi (1998) received great reactions from friends, he began production. The film re-teamed Aronofsky with Gullette, who played the lead. This went on to further successes, such as Requiem for a Dream (2000) and, most recently, the American remake of the Japanese film series “Lone Wolf and Cub” (1973). —IMDb
I watched it again a few days ago and it's gotten even better! This is just an outstanding psychological thriller that keeps tricking you again and again so that you can totally relate to the craziness that is taking over Nina as the movie progresses. Every supporting character is interesting in some way, the special effects are used where and when they should be used, amazing cinematography and soundtrack. Perfect.
Just watched. No words, just WOAH. Most of people think that a masterpiece cannot be exist nowdays and real cinema is dead or something similar. But when I see stuff like Black Swan a just think that cinema is alive and will always be. Great fucking work.
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