Movie Review: Black Swan

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What It’s About

Natalie Portman plays a ballerina, Nina Sayers, trying out for a role in Swan Lake.  The director (Vincent Cassel) is interpreting it in such a way that the same dancer will play the White Swan (innocent and pure) and the Black Swan (dark and seductive).  He thinks that Nina can play the part of the White Swan quite easily, but questions her ability to show a dark and sexy side.

As Nina sinks further and further into mental illness, it is difficult to tell (for her and the audience) what is real and what she is imagining.  Her relationships with her mother (Barbara Hershey), another dancer (Mila Kunis) and the director, become dark and twisted.

My Take

I did not like this movie.  I know it received much acclaim from critics but I found it shallow and salacious.  Yes, it was an amazing performance by Natalie Portman, but there just wasn’t enough storyline for me.  So much of it didn’t make sense.  For example, from what I understand of the dance community, which isn’t much, you grow up in the spotlight.  It is a community and it’s not as if people become overnight stars.  Yet, the dancers didn’t seem to know each other and Nina didn’t seem to have much of a history.  This was a small trivial thing, but Mila Kunis’ character was heavily tattooed.  Do professional ballerina’s really have major ink?  So much of it felt contrived – I never was drawn into the movie, I was always conscious of sitting in a theater watching a movie.

Grade:  C


  1. 1

    I’m kind of glad to hear you didn’t like this because my friends were trying to talk me into going and I really was not excited about it. Thanks for the review.

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