Black Swan (2010)

Black Swan (2010) movie poster

Black Swan is a psychological horror film produced and directed by Darren Aronofsky, with a script by Mark Heyman, Andres Heinz, and John McLaughlin. The film stars Natalie Portman, Vincent Cassel, Mila Kunis, Barbara Hershey, and Winona Ryder. The plot revolves around a production of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake ballet by a prestigious New York City company. The production requires a ballerina to play the innocent and fragile White Swan, for which the committed dancer Nina (Portman) is a perfect fit, as well as the dark and sensual Black Swan, which are qualities better embodied by the new arrival Lily (Kunis). Increasingly obsessed with starring in a successful production, Nina suppresses her true feelings about her mother’s death; becomes sleep-deprived, and starts hallucinating. This manifests into her becoming more vulnerable to Lily’s sly seductive ability until it results in an unexpected bloody ending.

Starcast:

  • Nina Sayers( Black Swan) – Natalie Portman
  • Erica Bielser(White Swan)- Barbara Hershey
  • Vinnie Gage- Winona Ryder
  • Thomas Leroy- Vincent Cassel   Milena Canonero Costume Designer, Art Director, & Oscar Winner for Best Costume Design 2010.  
  • Darren Aronofsky – director of the film.
  • Karen Mainwaring- Barbara Bryne

Black Swan is a 2010 American psychological horror film directed by Darren Aronofsky, starring Natalie Portman, Vincent Cassel, and Mila Kunis. The plot revolves around a production of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake ballet by a prestigious New York City company. The production requires a ballerina to play both the innocent White Swan and the sensual Black Swan. One dancer, Nina Sayers, is vying for the role; however, her main competition (and best friend), Lily, is chosen ahead of her. As Nina trains for the role each day, she begins to lose herself in her obsession with perfect technique. The film began a limited release in the United States on December 3, 2010, and opened to select cities on December 17, before expanding nationwide on January 21, 2011. Universal Pictures is the distributor of this movie that has been rated R by the MPAA for sexuality, nudity including one scene of implied rape and violence. 

This movie earned a 93% rating from critics at Rotten Tomoatoes.com. Black Swan’s (2010) movie reception and critical review have been a very hot topic on the Internet for quite some time now, and we’ve seen quite a few posts about it. One of them was even featured in Psychotic State’s blog. While it may seem like this is just another case of over-zealous fans getting annoyed at critics for pointing out flaws in their beloved movies, I think that it’s actually way more than that. At least one blogger had put his finger on what makes me so uncomfortable when I read comments from people who watched Black Swan with no or little prior knowledge about its actual content or director.

The black swan movie genre is an unusual mix of drama, thriller, and mystery. The audience will get too involved in the life of Natalie Portman’s character- Anna who is suffering from the death of her entire family due to one terrible event that took place on Christmas day. This leads to psychological problems in the movie where she cannot remember anything at all that happened on that fateful day or how her life was before tragedy struck while everything changed after she woke up in hospital with no idea what had taken place while suffering amnesia. Some similar movies like Black Swan:

Split (2016)

Fight Club (1999)

Whiplash (2014)

The Prestige (2006)

Memento (2000)

Pros (What’s great about it?) Cons (What’s not so great about it?) Natalie Portman delivers another impressive dramatic performance. Black Swan holds back on revealing too much of itself at the same time, which could be considered a flaw. The overall atmosphere is very creepy and sinister. There are plenty of allusions to classic horror films like Rosemary’s Baby. It does not offer any clear explanations about its characters or events that take place.