Our Rating: ★★★½☆
L Factor: Minor lesbian content
Short Take: Dance. Dance. Crazy. Sex. Crazy. Dance.
Alternate Titles:
Year: 2010
Duration: 108 min
Language: USA/English
MPAA: R
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Writer: Mark Heyman, Andres Heinz
Starring: Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel, Barbara Hershey, Winona Ryder

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Black SwanOne of the biggest movies of 2010, Black Swan was nominated for the Best Picture Oscar, and Natalie Portman won the Oscar for Best Actress. The film tells the story of Nina (Portman, V for Vendetta, Star Wars), a devoted ballerina who lands the lead in Swan Lake. Fueling her obsession is a controlling mother (Barbara Hershey, Hannah and Her Sister, Hoosiers), who never made it that far with her own career.

Nina is perfect as the innocent white swan, but she has competition from Lily (Mila Kunis), who is more dark to Nina’s light. The director tries to get Nina to reach into her passionate self to play the black swan, and as the pressure mounts, so does Nina’s hold on reality.

The film begins to turn into a psychological thriller mixed with imagined horror scenes. Lily and Nina become friends, and as Nina tries to become the black swan, she wants Lily. After a night on the town, the two come back to Nina’s apartment to have sex. Or do they? Was it all in Nina’s mind, or is this a classic gaslight? Regardless of if it really happened, we get to see the hot sex scene!

Nina loses her hold on reality as she gets in touch with the wild abandon necessary to play the black swan. Portman’s portrayal is fantastic, but the move from thriller to horror shifted the film enough that it lost its appeal for me in the end. (AB)