Black Swan | Indy Week

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Rated R · 110 min. · 2010

Drama, Suspense/Thriller

Set against the backdrop of a New York City production of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake, director Darren Aronofsky's latest recounts the ballet's plot through a contemporary idiom using the same story-within-a-story format found in Powell and Pressburger's The Red Shoes. The beautiful but emotionally unstable Nina Sayers (Natalie Portman) is chosen as the new Swan Queen by her slightly peevish company director (Vincent Cassel). An uneasy relationship develops between the seemingly chaste Nina and her licentious understudy, Lily (Mila Kunis). Their rivalry expands into a twisted acquaintance as Nina is forced to tap into her inner Black Swan. The film exhibits the physical and emotional toll artists often suffer in pursuit of their art, a trait undoubtedly endured by Portman, who trained for months in preparation for this Oscar-worthy tour de force. Moreover, implications of Nina's sexual abuse and self-mutilation serve as the backdrop for her compulsion to attain creative perfection, and Aronofsky juxtaposes sexual maturation with ballet's concurrent idealization and objectification of femininity.

See our full review: A thematic feast in <i>Black Swan</i>

A thematic feast in Black Swan

Director Darren Aronofsky juxtaposes sexual maturation, particularly in a male-dominated culture, with ballet's concurrent idealization and objectification of femininity. »

Official Site:
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Writer: Andres Heinz, Mark Heyman and John McLaughlin
Producer: Mike Medavoy, Arnold W. Messer, Brian Oliver and Scott Franklin
Cast: Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Winona Ryder, Sebastian Stan, Vincent Cassel, Janet Montgomery, Barbara Hershey, Christopher Gartin, Toby Hemingway and Kristina Anapau


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