Triumph at the Oscars – Black Swan Reviewed

My personal review on the Movie and I would personally give it an 4.7 out of 5 Stars – A must watch movie.

Characters Analyzed:

Natalie Portman as Nina Sayers: Natalie had taken on a daring role that is quite different from those that she had played in the past just like Nina in the film(white and black swan). Natalie trained a lot to take on this role as she practiced ballet for a year or so and lost lots of weight for the role. She portrays the role Nina with great accuracy, elegance and depth. She manages to effortlessly merge together Nina’s hallucinations with the reality.  Showing us many dimensions to Nina, the transformation from the childlike, vulnerable yet perfectionist ballet dancing (white swan) to a confronting, dark and aggressive black swan.


Vincent Cassel as Thomas Leroy the ballet director who is willing to do anything to make his play work. Even at the cost of pushing people over the edge. We see him ruthless abandoning Beth as she is seen as being “too old” for the part of Swan Queen, even after her accident he shows no sympathy whatsoever.  It is not obvious but Thomas could be seen as a villain due to his hunger for perfection for his work: he uses people. First Beth then Nina. He created and saw exactly what happened to Beth yet he could see Nina going down the same road yet he could not care less. Vincent Cassel portrays this role really well as whilst watching the film you don’t think too much about his actions however after when you think back on it, you see how evil he actually is, he could be seen as the catalyst for everything.


Mila Kunis as Lily was loosely speaking the complete contrast of Nina. Hence why Thomas had suggested she was perfect as the black swan. She was seen as being someone who breaks rules, has lots of fun and is free, hence her ballet had more passion. This is what Nina craved for and so desperately  wanted for herself this is why she often has hallucination of Lily.  Mila played this role perfectly, making it very believable.


Barbara Hershey as Erica Sayers the overly controlling mother, who was also a ballet dancer but who gave it up to have Nina. We can clearly see that she wants to see Nina as always being “her little girl” from: the cake moment, cutting of nail, constantly talking her daughter down, not letting her talk to Lily, clothes taking off, tucking Nina into bed. She had created so many tight boundaries that this could also have been a factor that lead to Nina wanting to break free and rebel.


Winona Ryder as Beth MacIntyre the previous Swan Queen but who was cast aside. There is a chilling truth in this linked to reality as once upon a time Winona Ryder was one of the top hollywood actresses but this has been seen as disappearing over the year just like her character in this movie, the irony is present. But we are remained of why Winona Ryder is still a great actress, even though she is only in the film for short periods of time but she plays these moments with great execution, leaving us feeling her pain but also seeing the “very dark” side in her.


All the supporting casts in this movie adds to the success of the perfection of the scenes and hence movie.

Movie and Plot:

The movie  is a psychological thriller however at times for me it merges into a horror movie. In that it leaves you shocked, squirming, and covering your face due to the gruesome-ness of some scenes. To name a few that left me shrieking like a little girl(which I hardly do in movies):

– When Nina’s mother cuts her nails.

– Beth stabs herself repeatedly.

-When Nina slams the door in her mum’s hands

-When Nina peels off her skin, and when her legs “breaks” into a swan like.

These scenes were made even more thrilling by the perfect use of music and camera works.

The Plot is in effect about Nina who gets the dream role of playing the Swan Queen, which requires the portrayal of the white swan and the black swan.


Nina can play the white swan with ease yet the issue is the black swan because she is seen as being too innocent, too in control and not dark enough for it.  On the other hand another ballerina, Lily is perfect for the black swan. The ballet director observes both of these, but see’s that Nina has the potential within herself to release the black swan therefore he uses various tactics to push this out of Nina.

The demands of her role, the director, societies’ view of being the queen swan but above all her hunger for perfection forces Nina into a darker world which spirals out of control as quick as the way she entered into it, creating a alter  persona(much darker and evil her) where reality, obsession, hallucination, fantasy merges together………………………



The beauty of this movie is that it manages to effortlessly transport the audience through a whole range of intense emotional rollercoaster and dimension, it is artistic and exciting, leaving you at the edge of your seat at times and guessing every turn and corner.

This film is extraordinary, its beautifully written, directored and acted out , after you watch it you understand why and how it has received such great attention, reviews and awards.

Memorable Quotes:

From: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0947798/quotes

Thomas Leroy: [scoffs] Perfection is not just about control. It’s also about letting go. Surprise yourself so you can surprise the audience. Transcendence! Very few have it in them.

-Thomas Leroy: We all know the story. Virginal girl, pure and sweet, trapped in the body of a swan. She desires freedom but only true love can break the spell. Her wish is nearly granted in the form of a prince, but before he can declare his love her lustful twin, the black swan, tricks and seduces him. Devastated the white swan leaps of a cliff killing herself and, in death, finds freedom.

-Nina: What happened?
Thomas Leroy: She walked into the street and got hit by a car. And you know what? I’m almost sure she did it on purpose.
Nina: How do you know?

– Thomas Leroy: Because everything Beth does comes from within. From some dark impulse. I guess that’s what makes her so thrilling to watch. So dangerous. Even perfect at times, but also so damn destructive.

Erica: Do you have any idea what time it is?
Nina: Uhh, late?
Erica: Where have you been?
Nina: To the moon!
Lily: And back.
Erica: You’ve been drinking.
Nina: Ding ding ding ding!

– Nina: You put something in my drink.
Lily: Yeah.
Nina: And then you just took off in the morning?
Lily: In the morning?
Nina: Yeah, you slept over.
Lily: Um, no. Unless your name is Tom and you got a dick.
Nina: But we.
Lily: But we what, Nina?
[pauses]
Lily: Wait, did you have some sort of lezzy wet dream about me?
Nina: [whispers] Stop it.
Lily: Oh my God? Oh my God! You did! You fantasized about me!
Nina: Shut up!
Lily: [gasps] Was I good?

Nina Sayers: I was perfect…

Symbolism and analyzing the movie in greater depth:

This movie uses symbolism throughout the film:

-We begin to see the “transformation” when Nina goes down the path where she is dressed in white and she see’s herself walking pass her dressed in black. This is when she starts to move towards the darker side, towards the black swan.

– Her room symbolizes the innocence and childlike her with all the teddies and pink. It also shows how her mum controls her through the music ballerina played at night, the removal of the door handle. Nina’s action when she dumps the soft toys down the rubbish shoot and when she grabs the door handle shows her rebelling and “growing up”

– The tattoo on the back of Lily symbolize how she is the black swan.

-The use of mirrors symbolize the different reflections of Nina from good to bad, light to darkness, good to evil.

– The scene near the end when Nina is fighting with the inner dark her (Black Swan) shows the struggle she has been going through, the moment where she “kills/stabs” her symbolizes the completion into the transformation to the Black Swan, also the foreseeable fall of both as she looses control and the Black swan has consumed and destroyed her.

– The ending when she “jumps” symbolizes freedom of the “swan” but also for Nina.

This film has so many levels, so many depth, meaning, portrayal,

The movie also underlines the truth of the cost of fame, and what people do to reach the top in the entertainment industry, revealing the lethal force of perfection, ambition, success and dreams, whereby people are willing to scarifies themselves for it.

To be great: you have to be able to think, go in and out of different worlds, enter into different levels. Transport yourself and others into different hemisphere. You can clearly see this in this case: this movie(how it grips and release the audience before(reviews of the films, before u have even watch it) and then after(left reeling, thinking about it)

Great singers, artistic, people have been able to affect you deeply because they are able to help you escape through their work.

This can become destructive, destroying and dangerous (why many great people die young,  when they entered and cannot escape from the inner world when they enter into another level and result in getting consumed and totally absorbed by it. That in the end, all that is left is complete sacrifice and death:  Marilyn Manroe, Elvis, Bruce Lee, Sylvia Plath, Sid Vicious, Heath Ledger, Michael Jackson, Alexander McQueen, (Young stars:  River Phoenix, James Dean, Kurt Cobain…). In many cases, they want to escape from it and the most popular way they can do so, is through drugs resulting in the tragic end to greatest.

Conclusion: just like the ending of the movie when Nina says “perfect” so is the movie it is simply stunning and breathtaking, it completely blew me away with it’s realness, quality and graceful acting performances from all the casts. This movie will definitively leave a lasting and memorable experience to all those that watch it.

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