Monday, 19 December 2011

Film Review: BLACK SWAN (2010) - REVISITED

Black Swan - poster Director: Darren Aronofsky
Writers: Mark Heyman (Screenplay), Andres Heinz (Screenplay/Story) & John J. McLaughlin (Screenplay)
Running time: 108 mins (approx)

Certification (UK): 15
UK Release date: 21st January 2011

Watched at the cinema Monday 19th December 2011.


I first saw this film at the cinema back in January and I was so impressed with it I decided to give it another viewing when it appeared in the TV schedules recently. I’m really glad I did as I enjoyed it even more second time around! I’ll give you my (revised) of my thoughts after this brief summary.

Black Swan - 1 Young ballerina Nina Sayers has been chosen to play the lead in Swan Lake. The production’s director, Thomas Leroy, has chosen her because she can play the white Swan perfectly, but he wants her to show more passion when she dances the part of the Black Swan. As she strives to achieve this level of performance we witness quite a dramatic change in her that totally alters her personality. She also has to contend with a rival dancer, Lily, who Thomas has put as her alternate (I guess the equivalent of an understudy in a play). Add to this the decline of Beth Macintyre, an experienced dancer that Nina admired and the attentions of her overbearing mother, Erica, and you can see she has a lot to contend with. I’ll leave my brief summary there or the Spoiler Police will be after me with a crossbow again.

Black Swan - 2 There is much to admire in this film, Darren Aronofsky certainly knows how to get a performance out of his cast. He also knows how to tell a story, I couldn’t fault the filmmaking; it’s great to look at, all topped off with a great performance from Natalie Portman as Nina Sayers. Also worthy of note are; Mila Kunis as Lily, Vincent Cassel as Thomas Leroy, Barbara Hershey as Erica Sayers and Winona Ryder as Beth Macintyre.

Black Swan - 5 I very much like the use of music through this film; the iconic themes from Swan Lake are throughout and only add to the enjoyment of the piece. I love the way the line is blurred between reality and the dark place Nina is trying to find inside herself. Aronofsky has a very interesting filming style; you are in there with the dancers as they perform and that makes it even more exciting… particularly at the end! In fact, you literally ‘follow’ the character, Nina, all the way through the film. It’s a brilliant film with some great performances; well worth a second (or even first) look if you get the chance and one I highly recommend.

My score: 8.7/10

IMDb Score: 8.3/10 (based on 192,436 votes at the time of going to press).

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer’ Score: 87/100 (based on 261 reviews counted at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 86/100 (based on 116,116 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).

Black Swan - 4 If you’re crazy enough… You can find me on Facebook at:

[first lines]
Nina Sayers: I had the craziest dream last night. I was dancing the White Swan.

Nina: I just want to be perfect.

Thomas Leroy: The only person standing in your way is you.

Thomas Leroy: I got a little homework assignment for you. Go home and touch yourself. Live a little.

Lily: How about I dance the Black Swan for you?

[last lines]
Nina Sayers: I was perfect...

Black Swan - 3 LINKS:
Official Site:


Daniel Mumby said...

Good review Andy, I'm more or les agreed

Rodders said...

terrific review, Andy,. While not a perfect film, I still immensely enjoyed it