login | register

Black Swan


Year: 2010 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (Scope) 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Darren Aronofsky 
Starring: Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel, Winona Ryder  
An image from Black Swan

Obsession. Reflection. Corruption. These are the motifs underpinning director Darren Aronofsky’s dark psychological thriller.

Ballet director Thomas (Cassel) retires his aging star Beth (Ryder), and casts Nina (Portman) in her place as prima ballerina in his new production of Swan Lake. She is the perfect White Swan: gracious, modest, pristine. But her Black Swan is underwhelming, void of the sinister seductiveness that Thomas demands for the piece’s villain. Rival newcomer Lily (Kunis), however, embodies the Black Swan’s bleak and brooding beauty, eclipsing Nina’s ability to diversify her talent. Striving to prove herself, Nina takes a fall from grace and submits to temptations of lust, rage, and rebellion. But soon her unrelenting ambition to inhabit the role and deliver the perfect performance begins to overwhelm and possess her...

Black Swan is an accomplished companion piece to Aronofsky’s previous film The Wrestler. Both chart the struggles of driven athletes as they aspire to leave their legacy. But where Mickey Rourke’s wrestler had to overcome his demons of addiction and anger to become king of the ring, Nina must embrace unfamiliar vices in her bid to be crowned Swan Queen. Portman’s performance is remarkable. Moving, daring, and even frightening, it is a career best; exemplifying her talent and dedication, it is thoroughly deserving of the Best Actress award it won at the Oscars.

The tone is chilling. Opening as a fairly familiar stage drama, Black Swan slowly evolves into a character-driven horror, becoming increasingly gripping as you creep towards the edge of your seat. With mirrors blocking every turn, it is impossible to escape the enclosing claustrophobia that this film imposes upon its audience. An intense exploration of the price of success, Black Swan is utterly captivating.

Owen Rye

IMDb search | Back to Previous Schedule | This Season  |  BBFC Classification Guidelines

Screenings of this film:

2010/2011 Summer Term (35mm)
2010/2011 Summer Term (35mm)
2019/2020 Autumn Term (35mm)