Black Swan

Starring: Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel, Barbara Hershey

Summary: Nina (Portman) is a ballerina obsessed with perfection and technique in her dancing.  She lives with her overbearing mother Erica (Hershey) who controls every aspect of her life.  When a new production of Swan Lake is announced Nina is cast as the Swan Queen.  This role requires her to dance the dual roles of the innocent white swan as well as the sensual black swan.  While Nina is the perfect representation of the white swan, the black swan is better personified by  sexy newcomer Lily (Kunis).  As Nina and Lily get to know each other Lily’s influence awakens Nina’s darker tendencies.  Ultimately Nina releases the darkness within her and becomes the black swan.

Anyone familiar with Aronofsky’s work knows he leans towards powerful images that can be thought-provoking. On one end of the spectrum you have The Wrestler, a poignant tale of an aging pro-wrestler. On the other end is The Fountain, three parallel love stories spanning a thousand years.  Black Swan lies in the middle with a mixture of both fantasy and drama.  Grade: A

Trivia: Mila Kunis had no previous dance experience when she was cast as Lily.  She learned to dance en pointe after practicing four hours every day for three months.

Rated: R – For strong sexual content, disturbing violent images, strong language, and some drug use.