It’s been about an hour since the press screening of Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan ended, and my heartbeat is just getting back to normal. (See a preview here on YouTube.) Black Swan tells the story of Nina (Natalie Portman), a tightly wound ballerina who has finally gotten her big break — the role of Queen in Swan Lake.
The ballet company’s director (Vincent Cassell) thinks she needs to let go, focus more on emotion and less on technique, if she really wants to embody both the pristine white swan part of the role — as well as the more seductive black swan part.
With his close ups of knarled ballerina feet and a soundtrack filled with cracking knuckles and labored breath, Aronofsky shows us again that he is obsessed with how people mutilate their own bodies for their ‘craft.’ Is the pressure causing Nina to lose her mind? Or is she going crazy because of her overprotective mom? (Barbara Hershey) Or is it because the new ballerina (Mila Kunis) is messing with her?
Is the bleeding and the violence in her head or for real? And is Black Swan about what artists put themselves through to find perfection in their projects? You can decide when this film hits theaters this December.