Directed by Darren Aronofsky
This film was a big deal when it was released, but I rarely hear it mentioned now as anyone's favorite movie. I do hear references to the lesbian scene, which we have all collectively decided was awesome.
Nina is a timid ballerina in a New York City ballet company. I don't think filmmakers are capable of portraying a happy ballerina, so you know this isn't going to end well. Nina lives with her controlling mother (in my opinion, there is nothing scarier than a mother in a horror movie). Nina's company is putting on Swan Lake and the director chooses Nina for the lead role. Nina is able to perform the White Swan's part perfectly, but is unable to full embody the Black Swan role. Slowly, she begins to get in her touch with her dark side.
I've only been to the ballet once in London. I imagined that the experience would be dark and erotic, perhaps a little confusing, but utterly engaging. I was a bit off the mark, but this movie felt like everything I imagined a ballet should be.
This is not the kind of movie that is packed with jump scares, but the characters have enough darkness in them that they manage to be genuinely chilling. A beautifully twisted film.
Winona Ryder only has four minutes of screen time.
Natalie Portman's dancing double, Sarah Lane, has stated that she doesn't feel like she has gotten the credit she deserves, as she performed most of the dancing. Aronofsky later said that Portman did 80% of her own dancing.