“The only person standing in your way is you.”
Cast: Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis and Vincent Cassel
It’s unusual that I get so amped up for a film, but with all the hype surrounding Black Swan, I was counting down the days until its release.
I often feel quite cynical about a film that has so much excitement surrounding it. Are people just jumping on the bandwagon by saying how great it is? What if the hype exceeds the actual quality of the film? Will expecting something fantastic disappoint me?
Black Swan did nothing but assure me that the entire buzz was well deserved though.
Natalie Portman portrays Nina Sayers, a ballerina who has strived to be centre stage for years. Winning the role of the white swan in the classic ‘Swan Lake’ though, sees changes in the perfect, timid Nina we are first introduced to. Through rigorous training, pressure to be the best and to live up to the preceding lead Beth, she experiences psychological issues that see her struggle between reality and fantasy.
Starring opposite Portman, Mila Kunis adds a bit of sass and dimension to the film. Her portrayal of Lily brings depth to the film, and allows the audience to question what is actually real, and what is just warped reality. More fitting of the role of the black swan, Lily competes with Nina, who reveals a much darker side of personality, expanding the films genre into a psychological thriller.
Black Swan has been nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Cinematography and Best Film Editing at the Oscars 2011.
The effort put into creating this spectacle has certainly paid off. Portman reveals she trained with professional ballet dancers 4/5 hours a day for about a year prior to filming, breaking a rib in the process.
Star Rating: 9/10
Directed by Darren Aronofsky.
Running time 108 minutes.