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Black Swan
Black Swan
Actors: Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel, Barbara Hershey, Winona Ryder
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Genres: Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy
1hr 48min

Feverish worlds such as espionage and warfare have nothing on the hothouse realm of ballet, as director Darren Aronofsky makes clear in Black Swan, his over-the-top delve into a particularly fraught production of Swan Lake...  more »

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Movie Details

Actors: Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel, Barbara Hershey, Winona Ryder
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Genres: Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Sub-Genres: Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Studio: Fox Searchlight Pictures
Format: DVD
Theatrical Release Date: 12/01/2010
Run Time: 1hr 48min
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 2
Members Wishing: 0

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Member Movie Reviews

Callie K. (ballofglitter) from GRAND ISLAND, NE
Reviewed on 7/5/2014...
This movie had great potential and once you start it you really want to see what happens but it leaves a lot of loose ends and that bugs me.
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Reviewed on 2/19/2014...

If you're not one to notice subtlety, you won't understand or enjoy this movie, as is very clear from the Amazon reviews. All the message of this film is in subtext and small, seemingly throwaway remarks. That said, I understood it and still did not enjoy it. I found it to be a far too accurate and vivid portrait of mental illness and various vicious forms of emotional and physical abuse to be at all enjoyable, despite how well-made it is.

To answer a few questions for people who are confused after watching it: No, Nina did not choose to pursue ballet because she loves it - she chose to pursue it because her mother pushed her into it. Her mother's own ballet dream was thwarted when she became pregnant with Nina, so she has dedicated herself to moulding her daughter into the ballerina she never was. You'll notice that Nina basically behaves like a 12-year-old at home for most of the movie, because she's never had to make any decisions for herself in her life. Despite this need to have her dreams fulfilled by her daughter, Nina's mother is also desperately envious of her, and tries to thwart her success (example: by bringing home a cake when she is aware that Nina is supposed to starve herself, as ballerinas do, and then using emotional blackmail when Nina refuses to eat any).

Another point many people did not get: Lily is not actually after Nina's part. Nina imagines this. She is her own worst enemy, as Thomas says to her, and she projects the "shadow" side of her psyche onto Lily. This is made clear when we see that Nina has stabbed herself, and not Lily. It is also clear that Nina and Lily never actually had sex, as Lily is surprised to hear about what Nina imagined had happened the night before. What alarmed me the most about that sex scene was how Lily said "Sweet girl" afterwards, the way Nina's mother does. Knowing that Lily was not actually there leaves the door wide open to an extremely abusive interpretation of Nina's relationship with her mother.

The best aspect of this movie, besides the final ballet scene, which is worth a watch, is the fact that we as viewers are left every bit as confused about reality and fantasy as Nina herself is, up until the very end (and apparently after that, for some). Nina's character is an excellent portrait of someone suffering from dissociation, and that is the main reason I plan never to watch this film again. It's just a "feel-bad" movie all around. Two stars.
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Jeannine L.
Reviewed on 7/14/2013...
One of the most disappointing films of recent years. A piece of trash and a disgusting ruination of a beautiful ballet.
1 of 8 member(s) found this review helpful.