Dir. Darren Aronofsky
(2010, R, 108 min)
★ ★ ★ ★

At its heart, the hypnotically brilliant Black Swan is about the conflict between expression and control. It stars Natalie Portman as Nina Sayers, a New York ballerina working relentlessly for her chance at stardom. She’s fanatically disciplined, and her technique is flawless, but her face is hard and tense, like a cable pulled tight and ready to snap. Ballet is an art that forgives no mistake, not a foot out of place or an ounce of fat to alter the balance of a perfect physical form. Nina has dedicated herself at the expense of all else.

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