As usual, being a Netflix movie viewer, I'm a year late on this movie. Honestly, when I see a year's worth of hype before I can actually watch a movie, the movie itself then ends up being a disappointment. Black Swan had a ton of hype, and, you know what? It absolutely deserved it. One of the best movies I have seen in a long time.
Natalie Portman is Nina, a dedicated ballerina who wins the lead role in a new version of the classic ballet, Swan Lake. Nina will play the dual roles of the virginal white swan and the lusty black swan. While the white swan role is a cake walk for the innocent Nina, the black swan proves to be a bit more challenging. Barbara Hershey is Nina's over protective ex-dancer mother, who treats her as if she is still five years old, and contributes to Nina's prolonged naivete. But does her mother have reason to hover? Does Nina have issues that require this kind of attention?
Winona Ryder is the crazed, aged ballerina who Nina is replacing. Is this Nina's fate? Mila Kunis is delicious as the wild and free competing rival ballerina who embodies the black swan role. Is she trying to steal Nina's place? And Vincent Cassel is perfection as the ballet company leader who pushes and pushes Nina to find the dark side of herself. Is he forcing her beyond a psychological point of no return?
Beautifully shot, incredibly acted, fantastic costumes. Portman deserved every single award she picked up during award season. This film does what Inception wanted to do--makes you wonder what is real, and what is hallucination or nightmare. Black Swan left me shaken. That's a good thing.