Director: Darren Aronofsky
Stars: Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel
Black Swan is ballet as gladiator contest, where the most vicious antagonists are the warring halves of a dancer’s mind.
Her descent into near madness in Darren Aronofsky’s bold film seems so real, you fear for the sanity of Natalie Portman, whose portrayal won her Best Actress at the most recent Academy Awards. It thrills to watch her go for it. She’s so convincingly fragile as crystalline ballerina Nina, who must summon untapped dark impulses, that viewers may initially be tempted to agree with characters in the film who doubt her transformative ability.
Her overweening mother (Barbara Hershey), her artistic director Thomas (Vincent Cassel) and rival dancers (Mila Kunis and Winona Ryder) all question her aptitude for the dual role of Odette/Odile in Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake.