Black Swan – 2010

Black Swan is an american movie of psychological suspense directed by Darren Aronofsky in 2010. The main characters of this movie are Natalie Portman, Vincent Cassel, Mila Kunis and Winona Ryder.

This movie narrates the story of Nina (Natalie Portman), a ballet dancer from a ballet company in New York City, who’s life is consumed and dominated by dance. She lives with her overprotective and manipulative mother Erica, a retired ballerina, that tries to suppress her and treats her like if she still was a little girl. 

The artistic director of the company decides to replace the main ballerina for the production of the new season of Swan Lake and Nina is his first choice. Although he won’t make it easy for her, he blackmails her and he is hard on her. She will need to work hard to gain his confidence and learn to ”let it go”, as Thomas Leroy, the artistic director asks her.

Nina is a very insecure and tormented young lady that will learn to compete with the new ballerina Lily, since she was also a good candidate for Thomas. The Swan Lake requires someone who can interpret the white swan; with elegance and innocence but also the black swan; with slyness and lust. Nina is good for the white swan and on the other side Lily is the perfect match for the black swan. The rivalry of both ballerinas increases and at the same time Nina connects with her darkest side where she is in deep danger.

This movie brought me a lot of different feelings. I love ballet and I really enjoyed the parts where they train for the performance, specially the scenes in the studio and the final performance was wonderful. But at the same time is a very dark emotional movie. Natalie Portman did an amazing performance. She represented her feelings and weaknesses through her facial expressions and also through ballet. Her desire to be perfect connected her to her darkest side. 

She not only had to act her paper and bring all those emotions to the viewer, but she also had to dance like if she was a real ballerina. She is clearly athletic and in very good shape. She trained very hard for a year previous to the movie. Her trainer was Mary Hellen Bowers, a professional ballerina that danced for the New York Ballet. She trained 6 days a week 5 hours a day to be able to achieve the great performance she gives in the film. Other important figures from the ballet dance world helped the characters to represent their ballet performances.

It is really well done, the costumes, the makeup and the production are great.

Here is a link to Natalie Portman’s training for the movie, where the ballerina Mary Hellen Bowers talks about it too:

Natalie Portman’s training for Black Swan

This movie won different awards and got nominated to best movie including an Oscar. It was produced in New York in 2009 by Fox Searchlight Pictures.


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