We fade into this film with a green tinted spotlight shining behind the dancer, a sweet Tchaikovsky melody playing. She smiles into the darkness as her feet dance across the dim stage, as a hand-held rotating shot of Nina and another man’s interaction. Nina twirls away, in a pursuit to escape, as the man transforms into his true form, a black-hearted demon. She surrenders into the mans cape, only to reveal herself as what she is. White Swan. Perfect, graceful, kind, and a protector.
Black Swan was conceived while director Darren Aronofsky’s sister was stuidying dance in New York. Originally portraying off-broadway actors and the fear of understudies, Aronofsky decided to dive into the world of classical ballet. After the success of Requiem for a Dream, Aronofsky’s breakout film, he discussed the idea of this movie with main actress, Natalie Portman. Portman recommended her friend, Mila Kunis, to play the supporting role, which she ended up capturing. 6 months prior to filming, Portman and Kunis began relentless ballet and fitness training.
Principal photography took place from late 2009, using on-location areas such as SUNY Purchase, and Bowling Green. The premiere was held during the 67th Venice Film Festival, were it was chosen as the opening film, a high honor. Variety Magazine called the standing ovation’s length: “One of the strongest Venice openers in recent memory". The theatrical release is considered one of the highest-grossing limited runs of all time, making $329 million dollars worldwide, in only 18 theaters. Promptly, Portman received high-praise for her portrayal of Nina Sayers from critics and average watchers alike. Aronofsky’s direction was also well received.
Black Swan was honored with 188 nominations in total, receiving over 60 of them. Natalie Portman, lead actress of Nina Sayers, was specifically honored, with her winning an Oscar, BAFTA, Golden Globe, SAG, and Critics Choice award, along with numerous others. In a year of packed cinematic achievements (including ‘The Social Network’, ‘Inception’, ‘True Grit’, and more), Black Swan was nominated for 5 Oscars, winning one (Portman). Director Darren Aronofsky was honored with his first and only Oscar nomination.
In conclusion, Black Swan is one of, if not the best psychological thrillers of all time. It has well-deservedly gone down in cinematic history as one of the most pivotal dance, obsessed artist, and female-lead film. With the depiction of gore and violence, Black Swan does not fade away from it’s ideology of constant beauty at any moment.
Sources, Refrences, and Citations
1- List of Accolades received by Black Swan (Wikipedia, Paragraph 4)
2- Darren Aronofsky (Wikipedia, Paragraph 1,4)
5- Read ‘Black Swan’ Script (IMSDB, Paragraph 1)
6- Black Swan film (Wikipedia, Paragraph 2-5)
3- She became perfect in every area except life (Roger Ebert)
4- ‘The Social Network’, The Best Film Of The Decade (Kylie Sammons)
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