I'm a bit affraid to post this review I know there are only fans of "Black Swan" on WTM... But it's my point of view. Sorry my Friends... Forgive me if you can !! ;) (and sorry for my english)
SPOILERS !!! SPOILERS !!! SPOILERS !!! SPOILERS !!!
The plot : Nina is a dancer, She only thinks to be perfect (one of the favourite thema of Aronofsky) so she works, works and works and her body feel it with cruelty. By the way she has no life, is fragile and always frigthened. Her mother is possessive and lives through her daughter (all dancer’s mother are so no??). In case we dont understand, Nina lives in a rosa room with lot of teddy bears and a music box that plays « The Swans Lake » of course. A desperate case. Because she bites her professor’s tongue as he tried to kiss her at their first meeting she gets the main role of the « swan lake »(yes, incredible but true !!) The professor is a sex addict as all danse directors especially if they are french (everybody knows that, you naughty frenchies !!). But the great news is that she will have to play the both swans… the black and the white. The schizophrenic tales can begin with a this pachydermic metaphor. Nina is a professional dancer but curiously has very short views on art (a bit strange when you have reached this level and have so many years of practice) she don’t know that for playing a role you have to merge your personality entierly into the one of the character.So Nina must discover sex and seduction to play the black swan, (she's prudish enough for the white one) and of course a dominant male is needed to give her the revelation. Luckily the sex addict teacher is here. She also meets Lily (aka Lilith the black Eva of western esoterism). Lily is always weared in black as Nina always in white (follow me ??), the same with her mother and Thomas (even Thomas’s appartement is b&w… is it a symbol ?? hu ??). And of course the black Lily want to take the place of the white Nina because she’s damn’hot and can make a much better black swan !! But she’s friendly with Nina and seems to want to help her, so she learns to this poor innocent that when you want to be a free woman and reveal yourself you have to : 1°)masturbate (no Thomas teached to her before sorry), 2°)drink and get dead drunk, 3°)take drugs, 4°)suck two cocks and 5°)have lesbian sex, nothing more, nothing less. And if you’re a bit late as Nina is (she’s maybe 22 ou 23 !!or more ??) you can do it all in one night only !! !! (Here you will note some pretty salacious dialogs that bring that necessary touch of Joe Sixpack’s humor to a movie that lacks cruelly of it!) No clichés at all of course and an interesting and clever image of woman as usual. Oh ! And, Nina, don’t forget to throw all your teddy bears away and to say to your mother « I wan’t my own appartment !! » that’s what we can call a rebellion. Now you’re a free emancipated woman Nina !! now you can play the black Swan, if your possessive mother let you go… because she doesn’t want to lose you Nina !! she’s possessive !! And if Lily (who is more resistant to hung-over) don’t take your place while you’re sleeping if off !!! But, at the same time, transformation continues, Nina becomes more and more the black swan and the special effects are here to be sure we understand until the funny x-men-like transformation at the end… (at this moment if you have still not understood, we can’t nothing more for you…) And (o surprise !!) we realise that the two dansers in competition were the two faces of the same person !!! Incredible the Ying and the Yang !! But Nina is dying (she killed herself without knowing it before the last act but she’s very resilient and dansed till the end), like the white swan at the end of the ballet (because she is the white swan, she is a goooood girl not like this black-swan-Lily who likes sex drug and rock’n roll the fool !! but she has killed the black swan in her now she can die quietly and go straight to heaven as pure as the first day of her life and mommy can be now proud of her daughter, her own sacrifice was not made in vain !!). Now you’re allowed to let a tear drop of your eye… white screen, END. Amen.
About the form now : The references of Aronofsky are good, ambitious and clever. You immediatly think to Powell, Polansky, Lynch, Cronenberg (for the gory sequence at the end), but we are far away from them (imagine this story filmed by Lynch for example). The 18mm enhanced 35mm, sensitive film to make colors dissapear (and just keep b&w), no make-up etc… but nothing new (see Barbara Loden’s « Wanda », 1971 for example) The use of the camera is a cut/past of « the wrestler ». The carried cam (Thank you Dardenne Brothers !Thank you « Rosetta » 1998 !!) is used ad nauseam and doesn’t bring anything to the narration, but it’s stylish (even a bit dated indeed). It’s boring and useless after ten minutes. Close-ups and close-ups on Portman’s face crying and crying… (she’s fragile and tormented you know… ). Yes, she will have her oscar, great performance of acting but that’s almost the only interest of the movie. And if you remember the « Wrestler » you can ask yourself if it’s not Aronofsky who is good to make an actor to give him his best… The use of music is interresting because it supports (saves??) many parts of the movies. There are many other things to say but I stop here. I didn't expect to much watching this movie perhaps just some finesse. It deserved it. I didn't find any. So if you like movies about dance watch « The red shoes » or even Pina Baush’s « Tanzträume » it’s far away better, if you like those kind of characters fragile and tortmented or with twisted minds watch for example, « Repulsion », « Rosemary’s baby », « Mulholland Drive » or « Lilith »… From Aronofsky I prefer remember « Requiem for a Dream » and am a bit pessemistic for the future « Wolverine » and « Batman 4 » may not be delicate and deep movies but who knows ;)