Black Swan is another fantastic entry into Darren Aronofsky’s filmography that is driven by a wonderful lead performance by Natalie Portman and could very well be my favorite film of the year when it is all said and done.
The film follows Nina Sayers who has been a background ballet performer in an elite New York company that finally gets her shot at stardom when the company’s lead decides to “retire.” Nina gets her shot in the company’s next performance of Swan Lake and her life begins to parallel her character of The Swan Queen. Nina applies a lot of pressure on herself and beyond that she lives with her mother who is overbearing and is clearly living vicariously through her daughter. Added to the self and parental pressure is the extremely competitive nature of the world of ballet and these elements all thrown together provides for a volatile environment for Nina to try and rise to stardom. So when her director keeps getting disappointed in her work and a new talent from San Francisco shows up in the company, Nina finds herself in a stressful situation.