A committed dancer struggles to maintain her sanity after winning the lead role in a production of Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake".

Director:

Darren Aronofsky

Writers:

Mark Heyman (screenplay), Andres Heinz (screenplay) (as Andrés Heinz) | 2 more credits »
Popularity
473 ( 158)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 96 wins & 279 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Natalie Portman ... Nina Sayers / The Swan Queen
Mila Kunis ... Lily / The Black Swan
Vincent Cassel ... Thomas Leroy / The Gentleman
Barbara Hershey ... Erica Sayers / The Queen
Winona Ryder ... Beth Macintyre / The Dying Swan
Benjamin Millepied ... David / The Prince
Ksenia Solo ... Veronica / Little Swan
Kristina Anapau ... Galina / Little Swan
Janet Montgomery ... Madeline / Little Swan
Sebastian Stan ... Andrew / Suitor
Toby Hemingway ... Tom / Suitor
Sergio Torrado Sergio Torrado ... Sergio / Rothbart
Mark Margolis ... Mr. Fithian / Patron
Tina Sloan ... 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

Taglines:

I just want to be perfect.

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:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Goofs

When Thomas (Vincent Cassel) asks David (Benjamin Millepied) if he can ask him a question, David is standing with arms akimbo. When Thomas asks him whether he would have sex with Nina (Natalie Portman), the mirror behind Thomas shows David standing with his arms crossed. But when the camera cuts to David scoffing at the idea, he is standing with arms akimbo again. Then when Thomas stands up, the mirror behind him shows David standing with arms akimbo but when the camera cuts to Nina, the mirror behind her shows David with his arms crossed again. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Nina Sayers: I had the craziest dream last night. I was dancing the White Swan.
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Crazy Credits

Many cast members are credited both as their role in this film and said character's corresponding role in the Swan Lake ballet See more »


Soundtracks

Illicit Dreaming
Written by Kavsrave (as Jamie Kavanagh)
Performed by Kavsrave
Courtesy of Tighten Up Records
Contains "Swan Lake" written by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
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User Reviews

 
Remarkable.. Aronofsky holds nothing back
21 December 2010 | by hypercubeSee all my reviews

Yeah, it must be Darren Aronofsky, at it again. I'm certain I've just seen a brilliant piece of filmmaking, but at the same time I feel like I've just been run over by a convoy of trucks. It will be a while before I calm down enough to sleep, so here I am.

Not everyone is as big as of an Aronofsky's style as I am, but one thing that can't be denied is that he is great at working with actors. Ellen Burstyn, Mickey Rourke, and now Natalie Portman are all very accomplished actors who have found a new level and delivered transcendent performances under Aronofsky. In Black Swan, Natalie Portman's turn as Nina Sayers is, hands down, the best acting performance of 2010-- male or female. If you'll forgive the cliché, I completely forgot Nina was Natalie Portman about five minutes into the movie. As Nina goes deeper and deeper into her role as the Swan Queen, Portman only becomes more and more captivating. The entire cast is excellent, but Portman alone makes this movie a must-see.

Darren Aronofsky is at his boldest heading up Black Swan. His depiction of Nina's struggles as she succumbs to growing pressures from her director, her mother, her rivals, her physical ailments, her personal need for a perfect performance.. it is intense, thrilling, exhausting, and truly gripping throughout. Part of what makes it work is that we are completely along for the ride with Nina. We see what she sees, we experience what she experiences, and sometimes it is truly distressing stuff.

As great as the first 60-70 minutes are, man oh man, nothing can prepare you for the final 30. This finale takes you to places I can't even describe. I dare say it's on par with Requiem for a Dream's devastating third act. It's a masterfully crafted climax that only Aronofsky could deliver.

I am glad Aronofsky is able to do what he does. His brutal and uncompromising style is definitely not for everyone, and it's not box office gold, but for those viewers who connect with what he's doing, the experience is truly something special.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | Italian

Release Date:

17 December 2010 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Black Swan See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,443,809, 5 December 2010

Gross USA:

$106,954,678

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$329,398,046
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby | DTS | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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