A ballet dancer wins the lead in "Swan Lake" and is perfect for the role of the delicate White Swan - Princess Odette - but slowly loses her mind as she becomes more and more like Odile, the Black Swan.
For two weeks, 20 male participants are hired to play prisoners and guards in a prison. The "prisoners" have to follow seemingly mild rules, and the "guards" are told to retain order without using physical violence.
A mentally unstable Vietnam war veteran works as a night-time taxi driver in New York City where the perceived decadence and sleaze feeds his urge for violent action, attempting to save a preadolescent prostitute in the process.
Robert De Niro,
A veteran high school teacher befriends a younger art teacher, who is having an affair with one of her 15-year-old students. However, her intentions with this new "friend" also go well beyond platonic friendship.
Kevin's mother struggles to love her strange child, despite the increasingly vicious things he says and does as he grows up. But Kevin is just getting started, and his final act will be beyond anything anyone imagined.
Nina (Portman) is a ballerina in a New York City ballet company whose life, like all those in her profession, is completely consumed with dance. She lives with her obsessive former ballerina mother Erica (Hershey) who exerts a suffocating control over her. When artistic director Thomas Leroy (Cassel) decides to replace prima ballerina Beth MacIntyre (Ryder) for the opening production of their new season, Swan Lake, Nina is his first choice. But Nina has competition: a new dancer, Lily (Kunis), who impresses Leroy as well. Swan Lake requires a dancer who can play both the White Swan with innocence and grace, and the Black Swan, who represents guile and sensuality. Nina fits the White Swan role perfectly but Lily is the personification of the Black Swan. As the two young dancers expand their rivalry into a twisted friendship, Nina begins to get more in touch with her dark side - a recklessness that threatens to destroy her. Written by
Fox Searchlight Pictures
I was very lucky to snag tickets to see Black Swan at the the Toronto International Film Festival.
THE GOOD: Natalie Portman's acting was perfection - definitely an Oscar worthy performance. Mila Kunis's performance was surprising in a good way, it is clear that she stepped out of her comfort zone. The film's musical score was superb. Of course, much of it was taken from 'Swan Lake', but I loved that they were able to incorporate that music throughout the entire film and not just in the ballet scenes. Of course, it was beautifully shot and the plot was riveting - I was drawn in from beginning to end. The audience saw a new side of ballet/ theatre that is not often shown in popular films - the struggle the performer faces in committing to and perfecting a role. The struggle between 'good' vs. 'evil' was presented in a methodical and intriguing way.
THE BAD: Many parts of this film felt like it belonged in the horror Genre. Some parts definitely made me jump or cringe (which I was not expecting). The film was also an emotional roller-coaster, which was fine at first, but This 'emotional roller-coaster' sort of dragged on to the point that it almost felt like it was too much. I just feel that it could have been tuned down a notch.
Overall, I thought that most of the film was wonderful, and I highly recommend it.
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