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Black Swan (2010)

aka Black Swan

"In the era of personal branding, the scariest possibility is that someone might be better at being you than you are."

Directed By: 
Details: 108 mins · English, French, Italiano · R (USA)

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From Everybody:

Mind blowing!

I remember the night I was in bed and decided to watch a movie so I can fall asleep. I made the biggest mistake when I picked Black Swan! And I'm not lying when I say I couldn't sleep the whole night...
I spent hours thinking, analysing, interpreting and questioning what's real and what isn't!
This is an extraordinary, mind-blowing, a little bit creepy and obsessive movie, not one of those you watch and forget.
Natalie Portman's performance in this movie was outstanding! She deserved the Oscar. Oh and by the way, before Black Swan, I used to refer to Natalie Portman as "that sweet girl from that movie", but now she's one of my favorite actresses.
Black Swan is one of my favorite movies of all time, a must-see, but definitely not before bed.

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Positively Spellbinding

Not often do films move us not just in emotion but in state of mind. Black Swan takes the audience into places that we always knew existed but never knew the reaches of in our own minds. So many things about this movie are downright brilliant, it takes a narrative experience that can really only be described as gut-wrenching and makes it addictive.

The backbone of this incredible piece is the masterful performance of Natalie Portman. Some of you that have read other reviews of mine (Star Wars?) have heard me bag on NP pretty hard. Let's be honest, what we saw in the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy was subpar and disappointing. But, there were a lot of things left to be desired about the Prequel, and watching NP perform in Black Swan indicates that those stinkers before were clearly not all her fault. Portman's performance BS is absolutely mesmerizing. From start to finish, her character is subtle and complex, she doesn't walk around saying her thoughts out-loud, she thinks them in a...(more)

Not often do films move us not just in emotion but in state of mind. Black Swan takes the audience into places that we always knew existed but never knew the reaches of in our own minds. So many things about this movie are downright brilliant, it takes a narrative experience that can really only be described as gut-wrenching and makes it addictive.

The backbone of this incredible piece is the masterful performance of Natalie Portman. Some of you that have read other reviews of mine (Star Wars?) have heard me bag on NP pretty hard. Let's be honest, what we saw in the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy was subpar and disappointing. But, there were a lot of things left to be desired about the Prequel, and watching NP perform in Black Swan indicates that those stinkers before were clearly not all her fault. Portman's performance BS is absolutely mesmerizing. From start to finish, her character is subtle and complex, she doesn't walk around saying her thoughts out-loud, she thinks them in a way that we as an audience are completely tied to. Her surrounding cast is also brilliant, and it clear that the cast understands their roles. Not just the characters that they play, but that they are a springboard upon which Portman launches herself into genius. Everything from the direction, the cinematography (seriously, some of the camera work in this film is prodigious), the editing, the AMAZING music, the audio mixing, it sets the stage so perfectly for the lead role that if our solo dancer didn't hit an absolute moonshot it would be an obvious disappointment. But that is what it was. Portman is the clear winner of best actress for the year this film was released, and this movie remains one of the best I have ever seen. (less)

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gave

OK

Very moving, kind of scary and definitely creepy. I'm glad i've seen it, but it's not the kind of movie i'll pick up to see again.
Brilliantly played by Portman

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Cast:

Small Nina Sayers
Small Lilly
Small Beth MacIntyre
Small Thomas Leroy
Small Veronica
Small Tom
Small Erica Sayers
Small Madeline
Small Galina
Small Costume Mistress
Small Susie
Small Violinist
No_movie_poster Stage Manager
Small Andrew
No_movie_poster Mrs. Fithian
Small Mr. Fithian
Small Sexy Waiter Scott

Crew:

Small Clint Mansell Original Music Composer
Small Darren Aronofsky Director
No_movie_poster Mark Heyman Screenplay
No_movie_poster Andres Heinz Screenplay
No_movie_poster Mike Medavoy Production
No_movie_poster Arnold Messer Production
No_movie_poster Brian Oliver Production
No_movie_poster John J. McLaughlin Writer
No_movie_poster Andres Heinz Story Contributor
No_movie_poster Andrew Weisblum Editing

Taglines:

"In the era of personal branding, the scariest possibility is that someone might be better at being you than you are."

Plot:

Nina Sayers, a young dancer in a prestigious New York City ballet company, lives with her mother, Erica, a former dancer. The company is preparing to open the season with Swan Lake. The director, Thomas Leroy, has to cast a new principal dancer after forcing Beth Macintyre into retirement. Leroy wants the same ballerina to portray the innocent, fragile White Swan as well as her dark, sensual twin, the Black Swan. Nina auditions for the part, performing flawlessly as the White Swan, but not quite able to emulate the characteristics of the Black Swan. Although Nina does not do well during her audition, she approaches Thomas and asks him to reconsider her as the lead role. He tells her she is the ideal dancer to cast as the White Swan, but she lacks the passion needed to correctly portray the Black Swan. When Thomas forcibly kisses Nina, she displays a change of character and bites him, convincing him to cast her as the Swan Queen.


An intoxicated Beth angrily confronts Thomas and Nina. She is later hit by a car and seriously injured in what Thomas suspects was a suicide attempt. Nina begins to witness strange happenings. Thomas, meanwhile, becomes increasingly critical of her "frigid" dancing and advises her to stop being a perfectionist and to lose herself in the role. Thomas points to Lily, another dancer in the company, whom he describes as lacking Nina's flawless technique but possessing an uninhibited quality that Nina has not shown.


The relationship between the two dancers is tense because of Lily's indiscretions, but Lily invites Nina to a night out. Nina is hesitant at first but decides to go against her mother's wishes. At a restaurant that evening, Lily offers Nina a capsule of ecstasy to help her loosen up. Though reassured its effects will only last a few hours, Nina turns it down. Lily later slips it into her drink at a nightclub while she is absent. Nina returns home late, fights with her mother, barricades herself in her room, and has sex with Lily until Lily seemingly smothers her with a pillow.


Next morning, Nina wakes up alone and late for rehearsal. When she arrives at the studio, she finds Lily dancing as the Swan Queen. Furious, she confronts Lily and asks her why she did not wake her up that morning. After Lily tells her she spent the night with a man whom she met at the club, Nina realizes she imagined the encounter.


Nina's hallucinations become stronger as she sees Thomas and Lily have sex in a backstage area and Beth stabbing herself in the face at the hospital with a nail file which Nina drops bloodied in the elevator. She has a violent argument with her mother, after which Nina passes out. Concerned about Nina's erratic behavior, her mother tries to prevent her from performing on opening night; enraged, Nina stands up to her mother and forces her way out of the apartment. Since her mother had called to say Nina was sick, Thomas assigned understudy Lily to take over, but reluctantly gives way when Nina insists on performing.


The first act goes well, until Nina is distracted by a hallucination during a lift, causing her partner, playing the Prince, to drop her. Distraught, she returns to her dressing room and finds Lily there. Lily announces she is to play the Black Swan. Nina shoves her into a mirror, shattering it. Lily seems dead but then she wakes up and starts to strangle Nina. She grabs a shard of glass and stabs her rival in the stomach, killing her. Nina hides the body and returns to the stage to dance with passion and sensuality. Sprouting feathers, her arms become black wings as she finally loses herself and is transformed into a black swan. At the end of the act, she receives a standing ovation. Offstage, Thomas and the rest of the cast congratulate her on her stunning performance. Nina takes Thomas by surprise and kisses him.


Back in her dressing room before the final act, Nina is congratulated by Lily, showing that their fight was imaginary. The mirror, however, is still shattered. She removes a shard from her own body and realizes she had stabbed herself. Dancing the last scene, in which the White Swan throws herself off a cliff, Nina spots her mother weeping in the audience. As Nina falls backward onto a hidden mattress, the theater erupts in thunderous applause. Thomas and the cast gather to congratulate her—only to find that she is severely bleeding. As the white ceiling lights envelop her, she whispers, "I felt it. Perfect. It was perfect."

Release Dates:

Theatrical : 2010-12-17 : United States of America

Theatrical : 2010-11-30 : New York City

Theatrical : 2010-12-03 : Toronto

Theatrical : 2010-12-03 : United States of America

Theatrical : 2010-12-10 : Canada

Theatrical : 2011-01-20 : Australia

Theatrical : 2011-01-20 : Denmark

Theatrical : 2011-01-20 : Germany

Theatrical : 2011-01-20 : Israel

Theatrical : 2011-01-21 : Ireland

Theatrical : 2011-01-21 : Poland

Theatrical : 2011-01-21 : United Kingdom

Theatrical : 2011-01-27 : Chile

Theatrical : 2011-01-27 : Greece

Theatrical : 2011-01-27 : Slovenia

Theatrical : 2011-01-28 : Lithuania

Theatrical : 2011-01-28 : Mexico

Theatrical : 2011-01-28 : Uruguay

Theatrical : 2011-02-03 : Netherlands

Theatrical : 2011-02-03 : Peru

Theatrical : 2011-02-03 : Portugal

Theatrical : 2011-02-04 : Brazil

Theatrical : 2011-02-04 : Iceland

Theatrical : 2011-02-04 : Norway

Theatrical : 2011-02-05 : Kazakhstan

Theatrical : 2011-02-09 : France

Theatrical : 2011-02-10 : Czech Republic

Theatrical : 2011-02-10 : Russia

Theatrical : 2011-02-10 : Singapore

Theatrical : 2011-02-11 : Mexico

Theatrical : 2011-02-17 : Argentina

Theatrical : 2011-02-17 : Hungary

Theatrical : 2011-02-18 : Estonia

Theatrical : 2011-02-18 : Italy

Theatrical : 2011-02-18 : Pakistan

Theatrical : 2011-02-18 : Panama

Theatrical : 2011-02-18 : Spain

Theatrical : 2011-02-23 : Belgium

Theatrical : 2011-02-23 : Philippines

Theatrical : 2011-02-24 : Hong Kong

Theatrical : 2011-02-24 : Malaysia

Theatrical : 2011-02-24 : South Korea

Theatrical : 2011-02-24 : Thailand

Theatrical : 2011-02-25 : India

Theatrical : 2011-02-25 : Jakarta

Theatrical : 2011-02-25 : Romania

Theatrical : 2011-02-25 : Turkey

Theatrical : 2011-03-04 : Finland

Theatrical : 2011-03-04 : Sweden

Theatrical : 2011-03-10 : Georgia

Theatrical : 2011-03-11 : Bulgaria

Theatrical : 2011-04-22 : Venezuela

Theatrical : 2011-05-13 : Japan

DVD : 2011-03-29

DVD : Belgium

2010-09-01 : Italy

2010-09-05 : United States of America

2010-09-13 : Canada

2010-10-18 : United States of America

2010-10-22 : United Kingdom

2010-10-27 : United States of America

2010-11-04 : United States of America

2010-11-11 : United States of America

2010-11-13 : United States of America

2010-11-19 : United States of America

2010-12-11 : Greece

2011-02-28 : Serbia

2011-11-03 : Netherlands