Directed by Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan was one of the most highly anticipated films of 2010. Although the film was released quite late in the UK, in January 2011, the date of its release was still brought forward to deal with its anticipation, and it became Fox Searchlight Pictures highest per-theatre average gross ever.
The film follows Nina Sayers (Natalie Portman), a ballet dancer who lives with her controlling mother, Erica (Barbara Hershey), in New York City whose life is dedicated to ballet. When art director Thomas Leroy (Vincent Cassel) wants to replace the lead for his opening production of Swan Lake, Nina is his first choice. But Nina has competition with new arrival Lily (Mila Kunis); Leroy only sees Nina as the innocent White Swan, whilst Lily is the personification of its evil twin. Pushed to her limit, Nina becomes engulfed by the competition and begins to lose her mind as she finds herself becoming more like the Black Swan outside of rehearsal.
Black Swan is a fascinating tale with an almost creepy interior. In a way, it is something we have never seen before, and disappointing endings such as ‘It was all a dream’ can only be too easily presumed. However, the ending brought upon a more than averagely cliché twist and tied the film up respectfully.
Portman excels in her tremendous performance, which will undoubtedly set her up for more great roles over the next few years, and Kunis as well adds a lot of personality to the film. Their combination is stunning, not only in appearances, and really compliments the rest of the film.