Black Swan Blu-ray
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Directed by Darren Aronofsky
Produced in 2010
Main Language - English
Countries & Regions - American film
A psychological thriller set in the world of American ballet. It's like a fusion of von Trier’s Antichrist and Powell & Pressburger’s The Red Shoes, says Peter Wild. Imagine that if you can.
Conceived as a companion piece to his Oscar-nominated The Wrestler, Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan is a stylish, intriguing and occasionally horrifying mix of psychological thrills and body horror set in the insular world of New York ballet.
Natalie Portman is Nina Sayers, a nervous dancer who we first encounter at the beginning of a season. She hopes to be selected for the starring role in a new production of Swan Lake, in which a single dancer will play both the white and black swans. Choreographer Thomas Leroy (played with outstanding brio by Vincent Cassel and allegedly based upon choreographer George Balanchine) can see his white swan – pure, virginal, unspoiled – in Nina. But he finds his eye drawn to new dancer Lily (played by the feisty Mila Kunis) for the lusty and tempestuous black swan.
This creative dissonance fuels a gradual unhinging in Nina that begins with her glimpsing herself, Jacob’s Ladder-like, on her subway commute, then proceeding through various levels of grotesque and hallucinatory bloodsports. We see her tearing strips off her finger – or does she?– enjoying lesbian love with Lily and undergoing a gruesome transformation.
Aronofsky has said that the film is his homage to All About Eve, Polanski’s The Tenant and Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s The Double – but there is a sense in which it is far more than this.
For Natalie Portman this is a standout role that has won her a Best Actress Oscar, taking her from leading lady to genuine star. Her body, which she undertook months of intensive gym work to hone like a true ballet dancer, is as offputting at times as Christian Bale’s in The Machinist.
Black Swan is an auteur’s vision. The closest I can come to describing it is by saying that if you expect a curious fusion of von Trier’s Antichrist and Powell & Pressburger’s The Red Shoes, you will not be disappointed.
Peter Wild on 20th April 2011
Author of 99 reviews
A psychological thriller set in the American ballet world, Black Swan stars Natalie Portman in an award-winning performance as a dancer in a New York City ballet company.
Nina (Portman) is a ballerina in a New York City ballet company whose life, like all those in her profession, is completely consumed with dance. She lives with her obsessive former ballerina mother Erica (Barbara Hershey) who exerts a suffocating control over her. When artistic director Thomas Leroy (Cassel) decides to replace prima ballerina Beth MacIntyre (Ryder) for the opening production of their new season, Swan Lake, Nina is his first choice. But Nina has competition: a new dancer, Lily (Kunis), who impresses Leroy as well.
Swan Lake requires a dancer who can play both the White Swan with innocence and grace, and the Black Swan, who represents guile and sensuality. Nina fits the White Swan role perfectly but Lily is the personification of the Black Swan. As the two young dancers expand their rivalry into a twisted friendship, Nina begins to get more in touch with her dark side - a recklessness that threatens to destroy her.
Portman won the 2011 Golden Globe, BAFTA and Academy Award for Best Actress.
Publisher: 20th Century Fox
Length: 103 mins
Aspect ratio: Widescreen
Cat No: 5019107000
Format: Blu-ray Colour
Subtitles: Spanish, Portuguese, German, Finnish, Swedish, Italian, Norwegian, Chinese, Mandarin, Danish, Greek, Romanian, Turkish , Hard of Hearing - English
- Metamorphosis: A 3-part look at the filmmaking process
- Audio Description
- Live Lookup.