Black Swan (2010)

Black Swan is as much a psychological horror as a ballet film

I was expecting this to be some kind of pump art house ballet film, but I was very wrong. Natalie Portman is superb as ballet dancer Nina who is slowly descending into insanity under the pressure of her role in a production of Swan Lake. She is only able to play the white swan part well but is too inhibited and controlled to to fully let herself go and play the wilder black swan. This pressure is further increased with the arrival of Lily (Mila Kunis) who is wild and carefree and a perfect fit for the role. The dance sequences, far from being boring are truly impressive and full of drama, emotion and energy. Excellent characterisation, hallucinations, paranoia, self-harming, and a dark side always lurking beneath the surface makes this very interesting viewing. All this builds up to the performance of the production itself and a finale where Nina’s fragile psyche finally shatters into two. You certainly shouldn’t find this boring. A very good film 8/10

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