Film Review: Black Swan

Black Swan Film Poster

Natalie Portman stars in Black Swan: Image by Fox Searchlight

Black Swan follows a ballerina on her quest to achieve perfection and gain the leading role in the New York City Ballet’s production of Swan Lake.

This dark and thrilling story, follows a woman’s descent into madness as she battles to find her dark side, to enable her to play both Odette (the White Swan) and her evil twin Odile (the Black Swan).

Natalie Portman stars as Nina Sayers, the innocent childlike ballerina, who has been sheltered and pressured by her mother all her life. In her twenties, she is still tucked into bed and undressed by her overbearing mother.

Nina is determined to gain the leading role, when the company’s star Beth Macintyre (Winona Ryder) retires. She has what it takes to play the White Swan, but continually struggles in performing as the Black Swan.

As the film evolves, we see changes in the once innocent Nina, as she embraces her darker side, with thrilling consequences.

Nina’s life begins to parallel with the story of Swan Lake, as the performance date nears.

The film had me on the edge of my seat the entire time, with unexpected plot twists at every corner. I never knew what to expect and was often shocked. The story is dark and sexy, and Portman gives a believable and chilling performance as a woman loosing her mind and grip on reality.

There’s horror, humour and sex and within the cinema I heard collective gasps of shock and titters of laughter. The film has a perfect balance of ingredients to make it a fantastic film, it is clear to see why it has received so many award nominations.

The film has stayed with me since, with more and more depths and interpretations to be gained from it. Rarely has a film left me feeling so satisfied by the end.

About Stacey Cosens