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Black Swan (2010)

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A committed dancer wins the lead role in a production of Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake" only to find herself struggling to maintain her sanity.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) (as Andrés Heinz) | 2 more credits »
Popularity
142 ( 28)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 91 wins & 257 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Thomas Leroy / The Gentleman
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Veronica / Little Swan
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Galina / Little Swan
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Madeline / Little Swan
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Andrew / Suitor
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Tom / Suitor
Sergio Torrado ...
Sergio / Rothbart
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Mr. Fithian / Patron
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Mrs. Fithian / Patron
Abraham Aronofsky ...
Mr. Stein / Patron (as Abe Aronofsky)
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Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content, disturbing violent images, language and some drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

17 December 2010 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El cisne negro  »

Box Office

Budget:

$13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

CAD 76,657 (Canada) (5 December 2010)

Gross:

$106,954,678 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Darren Aronofsky: [Perfect Blue] The overhead shot of Nina in the bathtub is an exact replica of a shot in the Japanese anime thriller Perfect Blue (1997). Years before, when making Requiem for a Dream (2000), Darren Aronofsky bought the remake rights to Perfect Blue just to use that one sequence for a scene of Marion (Jennifer Connelly) in a bathtub. Black Swan itself contains numerous similarities, both in narrative and style, to Perfect Blue, though Aronofsky has denied that it was an influence. See more »

Goofs

When Nina returns home after being assigned a role, she stands at her front door to go in. She is wearing her white scarf around her neck. She then puts her key in the lock and other hand on the door knob as she walks through the door to the other side, her hands are still on the door but her scarf is now over her arm. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Nina Sayers: I had the craziest dream last night. I was dancing the White Swan.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Half in the Bag: The Revenant (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Outside the Lines
Written by Praveen Sharma and Travis Stewart
Performed by Sepalcure (featuring Angelica Bess)
Courtesy of Hotflush Recordings
Contains "Swan Lake" written by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Rubbish from beginning to end
15 January 2011 | by (Melbourne, Australia) – See all my reviews

I'm just back from watching a preview of Black Swan. Natalie Portman and Milla Kunis as ballerinas in an unnamed American ballet company, Vincent Cassel (well-known and rather good French actor) as the director of a new production of Swan Lake, Barbara Hershey as Natalie Portman's mother. Film directed by Darren Aronofsky (responsible for The Wrestler).

Verdict: Complete load of garbage (that's the polite word for it).

There's the germ of a good idea in there. Ballerina driven to succeed by domineering mother; duality of Black Swan/White Swan personality; jealousy and back-biting within the ballet company. Unfortunately, whatever might have been made of it was thrown out the window by the writers and Mr Aronofsky, and the result is a ludicrous succession of increasingly less believable and more ridiculous set pieces, propelled by cliché-ridden psychobabble dialogue and grotesque CGI horror effects (blood, tearing skin, etc). Oh, and of course, a camera that is stationed perpetually looking over the shoulder of the principal character and can't stay still for a single damn second.

There's one user review on IMDb that says that the result is a feast of so-bad-it's-almost- funny high camp, and that just about nails it. There were two points at which I (and most of the audience) laughed out loud at some piece of surpassing crassness. There's a lesbian scene that is so gross, crude and unerotic that I couldn't watch it. (Watch The Hunger (Catherine Deneuve and Susan Sarandon) or Mulholland Drive (Naomi Watts and Laura Herring) to see well it can be done.)

The director tries everything he knows to make the film intense and compelling, but fails more completely with every new trick. At no point does the film engage any emotion other than amazement at how inept the whole thing is. The really sad thing is that it's been nominated for a swag of awards, and almost all the critics' reviews and user reviews on IMDb say that it's great, a masterpiece, tour de force, etc, etc. For those who think it's high art, here's the latest news: the emperor has no clothes.

I gave it a score of 1 out of 10 because that was the lowest available.


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