Nina lives for the ballet, working hard to be considered for the role of the Swan Queen in a production of Swan Lake. But there is a problem, she is perfect for the White Swan at least; but her performance for the Black Swan leaves something to be desired.
Controlled by her mother, Nina is consistently treated like a child; and it is here that lays the root of all her tribulations.
The wanton brutal beauty of the Black Swan may be beyond her unless she can discover, and harness, her own inner darkness.
Black Swan is easily Natalie Portman (who plays Nina) and director Darren Aronofsky’s greatest achievement. Rounded off with dependable acting from Vincent Cassel, Winona Ryder, Mila Kunis and Barbara Hershey and it is obvious the viewer is onto a winner.
Portman’s portrayal of the wounded and delicate Nina is heart-rending, and her slight stature helps greatly with this. At times she seems like the world’s oldest eleven years old but when the transformation to the black swan occurs we are treated to something that it quite literally breathtaking.
Black Swan is surprising and beautiful, but this beauty does not soften the horror that underlies it all.