I saw Black Swan on the opening night of the limited release. I luckily bought tickets in advance because even though I arrived forty-five minutes before the previews rolled, there was a line that wrapped around the lobby of the theater and the shows were all sold out.
The film opens with Nina Sayers (Portman) inviting us into her world of dance. Vying for the role of Swan Queen in Swan Lake, she has worked day and night to impress Thomas Leroy (Cassel), the instructor at her New York City dance company. Erica Sayers (Hershey) is a retired ballerina who has an almost uncomfortably close relationship with daughter Nina. The privacy level between the two is non-existent and Nina continues to pull away from her over-bearing mother.
Just when Nina begins to feel as though she has a leg up on her competition — a slew of well-trained Swan Queen wannabes with immaculate bodies — Lily (Kunis) shows up. The film leaves you guessing whether or not Lily is trying to destroy Nina or befriend her. Winona Ryder as Beth Macintyre makes a chilling cameo as the long-time Swan Queen being forced to step down.
Darren Aronofsky does an excellent job of keeping viewers in the dark — sometimes literally — as we try to figure out how much of what’s going on is actually happening, and how much is all in Nina’s head as she is consumed by the desire to become Swan Queen.
As far as the most talked about scene of the movie, the sex scene between Nina and Lily, I found this to be more frightening than sensual.
With the Academy Awards just around the corner, this thriller that is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat is a shoo-in for a few Oscar nods.
My personal reaction as I walked out of the theater: I found myself deep in thought as I left the theater. As I stepped outside into the falling snow, my eyes welled up with tears. This was puzzling as I did feel like crying when the movie ended. Upon deeper inspection I realized that I was crying because… are you ready?
I didn’t get it.
After several days of mulling it over, I’ve decided that I will more than likely see this one again, but I also feel as though I understand more of just exactly what happened.
I will leave you with that and say that this film is absolutely one that you should check out.