Black Swan is the difference between a movie and a film.
A movie will entertain you, keep you interested and give you some great discussion points. A film however, will draw you in, entice you, impress you, take you on a journey…
Black Swan will be remembered in the upper echelon of great films. Not just because of Natalie Portman’s engaging and enthralling performance but also for Darren Aronofsky’s direction and his ability to take you on to the stage and make you fall in love with Ballet. As in The Wrestler, Aronofsky manages to squeeze every ounce of substance of his lead actor - Natalie Portman shines.
Portman plays the talented but troubled Nina who wins the lead as the Swan Queen in Swan Lake. The already fragile Nina slowly looses her mind as paranoia, a possessive mother, and the mounting pressure leading to opening night take their toll. Add to this the beautiful Mila Kunis (Lilly) as the threat to her role and Black Swan takes you on a scintillating, mysterious and often terrifying journey and look into the world of professional ballet.
Portman rightly deserves her Golden Globe. Not just for her acting ability but her dancing scenes are incredible. Hollywood is riddled with stories of actors going through painstaking training to learn skills for a certain role, and there is none more impressive than Portman. Actors that immerse themselves in their role – Anthony Hopkins in “Silence of the Lambs”, De Niro in “Raging Bull” and Natalie Portman in “Black Swan.” She is incredibly convincing as a world-class ballet dancer, with seemingly minimal body doubles and direction that contains extended wide angled frames showing the full extend of her dancing ability for this role.
There are a few surprises such as the great performance by Barbara Hershey as the domineering, possessive mother, a brief appearance from Wynona Ryder as the ballet star nearing the end of her career. The uncredited star of this film is Ballet itself as it seamlessly joins with the wonderful direction to make you feel like you on the stage itself.
This film is like watching live Opera but without the Italian singing and with a lot less vibrato - dramatic, ethereal and beautiful.
This is more than a movie – it’s a classic film.