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Black Swan 2010 R CC

In this psychological thriller set in the world of New York City Ballet, BLACK SWAN takes a gripping journey through the psyche of a ballerina whose role as the duplicitous swan queen turns out to be a part for which she becomes frighteningly perfect. BLACK SWAN is now the winner of five Academy Award nominations.

Starring:
Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis
Runtime:
1 hour, 48 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Thriller
Director Darren Aronofsky
Starring Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis
Supporting actors Vincent Cassel, Barbara Hershey, Winona Ryder, Benjamin Millepied, Ksenia Solo, Kristina Anapau, Janet Montgomery, Sebastian Stan, Toby Hemingway, Sergio Torrado, Mark Margolis, Tina Sloan, Abraham Aronofsky, Charlotte Aronofsky, Marcia Jean Kurtz, Shaun O'Hagan, Chris Gartin, Deborah Offner
Studio 20th Century Fox
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Darren Aronofsky has been circling movie news sites pretty frequently as of late. He recently signed on to direct the stand-alone sequel to X-Men Origins: Wolverine (appropriately titled The Wolverine). He also developed a rather large and devoted fanbase over the course of directing fantastically surreal films such as Pi, Requiem for a Dream, and The Wrestler, but his psychological thriller Black Swan has also been gaining quite a bit of steam leading up to its December 3rd release. Despite Aronofsky's already well-established reputation and the rather high anticipation for the film, Black Swan still delivers a product that is even better than expected.

Like most ballerinas, Nina (Portman) lives, breathes, and is completely devoted to dance. Artistic director Thomas Leroy (Cassel) is preparing a new spring production of his interpretation of Swan Lake. Nina is next in line to become prima ballerina after the former dancer to hold that spot, Beth Macintyre (Ryder), reluctantly retires. Everything seems to be shifting in that direction until a rather unorthodox, provocative, and unstable (in a dangerous kind of way) dancer named Lily (Kunis) arrives. Lily seems to have an eye for Nina's spot as soon as she walks through the door. Thomas begins to see Nina as the White Swan, which signifies innocence and perfection and Lily as the Black Swan, which is more sensual and deceptive. The problem is that one dancer is required to play both parts. Other than the stiff competition she has to deal with, The Swan Queen role begins to take its toll on Nina who begins to think Lily wants even more than her spot in the production. Nina's obsessive behavior leads to her releasing her dark side that she must now struggle to control.
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It's easy to see that Darren Aronofsky was influenced by the classic THE RED SHOES ('48), except that the '48 film did not telegraph its tragic ending which came as somewhat of an abrupt surprise. On the other hand, BLACK SWAN telegraphs its outcome from Scene One, the major fault of the film which ends on an extremely downbeat note.

The highlight of BLACK SWAN is the presentation of the ballet music and all of the behind-the-scenes tension brought on by the determination of ballet maestro VINCENT CASSEL to find a dancer who can be both The White Swan and The Black Swan with equal expertise. He is impressed by NATALIE PORTMAN's skill as The White Swan but tells her she must experience life and love to the utmost in order to provide the proper passion for her darker side as the evil swan. It's hard to believe that he doesn't spot the flaws in her personality that make her unable to face the demands of the ballet world. However, he's excellent in his role, as is MILA KUNIS as her cunning rival.

Portman's mother (BARBARA HERSHEY) seems to be as neurotic as her unstable daughter in a Mommie Dearest sort of way. Their scenes together amp up what we know is bound to be a fatalistic end to an unhappy story. As the rival ballerina, MILA KUNIS provides plenty of jealousy for Portman, already unnerved by the demands that Cassel places on her emoting. Inevitably, Portman is pushed over the edge by all of her hallucinations and insecurities until she falls into a pit of darkness from which there is no escape.

Portman's skill as an actress is evident, overcoming any objections some might have to the heavy use of a body double for the difficult ballet moves. She gives her character dimension and pity, despite the unpleasant aspects of the character's irritating personality.
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With this dark and audacious look at artistry and dance, bad boy auteur Darren Aronofsky once again pushes a film's intensity past all point of reason. "Black Swan" will be alternately hailed a masterpiece and an over-indulgent piece of excess. Or, more appropriately, perhaps it is a masterpiece of excess. More akin to the fantastical setting of "The Fountain" than to the confrontational realism of "The Wrestler," Aronofsky has created a remarkably vivid bit of lunacy with "Black Swan." And to be fair, I think he absolutely succeeds in what he has set out to do--creating a hyper dramatic nightmare that blurs the lines between reality and madness. Thematically, many films have covered the same ground--but few so visually, stylishly, or in so unapologetic a way. No matter how many films Aronofsky unleashes on the world, I will always hold the feverish "Requiem For a Dream" closest to my heart--but for visceral thrills, "Black Swan" rates a very high second.

Equal parts "The Turning Point," "All About Eve," and "Repulsion," "Black Swan" tells the story of a ballerina struggling for perfection. Natalie Portman is cast as the dancer given the shot of a lifetime--to play the lead in a new revival of "Swan Lake." It's a dream part, but one that is fraught with peril. The director, Vincent Cassel, thinks Portman is perfect for the technical aloofness of the program's White Swan but lacks the fire and abandon when the dance transforms her into the Black Swan. And Portman pushes herself and pushes herself, to the point that her body is manifesting strange physical trauma. Cassel tries to unleash the passion of the Black Swan while the company's newest dancer (Mila Kunis) seems to embody the darker freedoms that Portman needs to embrace to be successful.
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