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Black Swan Movie Review

Updated on August 30, 2017
Natalie Portman's Black Swan
Natalie Portman's Black Swan

Black Swan May Not Be the Movie That You Think It Is...

There was constant chatter in the media about Natalie Portman's performance in the new movie, Black Swan almost before the movie was released. They were calling her performance the one to beat for the Oscar but I had not paid much attention to the movie until the reviewer in my local newspaper triggered my interest when he said that Black Swan is "the most harrowing, suspense-filled psychological thriller of the season" and he gave the movie 4.5 stars.

Since then, I have learned a lot more about the movie and, of course, Natalie Portman has won the 2011 Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role. On this page, learn a bit more about the movie and add your thoughts to the debate on whether or not this movie is a thriller or an art movie.

Click here to order your copy of Black Swan from Amazon.

"I just want to be perfect." ~ Nina


Black Swan Fast Facts

  • DIRECTOR: Darren Aronofsky,
  • STARRING: Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, and Vincent Cassel
  • OPENING DATE: September 1, 2010, Venice Film Festival; limited release December 3, 2010; nationwide release on December 22, 2010
  • RATED: R for sexual content, violent images, language and drug use.
  • RUNTIME: 108 minutes.

Black Swan Plot

Black Swan is rated R.

In Black Swan, Nina (Natalie Portman) wins the lead role in the ballet Swan Lake. She has ambition but she is very driven by her mother, played by Barbara Hershey, who stopped dancing when she became pregnant with Nina. Nina pushes herself, working extremely hard, to be successful but her choreographer pushes her still farther and leads her to the edge...

A fast paced look at the world of the artist, the process and the price that they sometimes pay to be successful. HOWEVER, this is a disturbing, dark psychological movie, rated R. Make no mistake, it is not a simple 'ballet' movie. As a matter of fact, I am trying to decide if it is a horror movie or an art movie...if you've seen it, please join in the debate and tell us what YOU think.

What Do You Think? Is Black Swan More of a Horror or Thriller Movie or Is It an Art Film? - Black Swan Is Rated R.

This movie has been called it all: psychological thriller, horror, art, porn, big, crazy, weird, dark, twisted, interesting, amazing, intense as well as a combination of the above. What do YOU think? Is Black Swan more of a thriller or a horror movie or is it an art film?

Did Natalie Portman Do the Dancing in Black Swan?

Yes, Natalie Portman did most of the ballet dancing in Black Swan. She studied the dance for a year and her double was only used occasionally. Director Darren Aronofsky said, "Except for the wide shots when she has to be en pointe for a real long time, it's Natalie on screen. I haven't used her double a lot."

Black Swan Movie on Blu-ray
Black Swan Movie on Blu-ray

If You Like Black Swan, You Might Like These Other Movies By Darren Aronofsky

  • Requiem for a Dream
  • The Fountain
  • The Wrestler

And You Might like the Red Shoes

The Red Shoes (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
The Red Shoes (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
Another movie about a struggling ballerina. "The Red Shoes, the singular fantasia from Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, is cinema’s quintessential backstage drama, as well as one of the most glorious Technicolor visual feasts ever concocted for the screen. Moira Shearer is a rising star ballerina romantically torn between an idealistic composer and a ruthless impresario intent on perfection. Featuring outstanding performances, blazingly beautiful cinematography by Jack Cardiff, Oscar-winning sets and music, and an unforgettable, hallucinatory central dance sequence, this beloved classic, now dazzlingly restored, stands as an enthralling tribute to the life of the artist. One of the best blu-ray releases of 2010.

© 2010 Treasures By Brenda

What Do/did You Think of Black Swan?

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    • TreasuresBrenda profile imageAUTHOR

      Treasures By Brenda 

      7 years ago from Canada

      @TransplantedSoul: I agree!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Natalie Portman rocks!. I love her work.

    • lollyj lm profile image

      Laurel Johnson 

      7 years ago from Washington KS

      Thanks for this informative review of the movie. We don't go to the movies so I'll wait to see it on TV.

    • adelais lm profile image

      adelais lm 

      9 years ago

      Why can it not be both, a horror film and an art film?

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      The movie does look as difficult and challenging as it is to stand on point. Lensrolled to my "Black Swan" soundtrack lens.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 

      10 years ago from Arkansas USA

      I hope people read the reviews before they go to see the movie. It certainly has been getting a lot of press, and the posters are very artsy. Not likely a movie that I'll be seeing.

    • justholidays profile image


      10 years ago

      At least, whatever the genre of the movie, you just brought something: the need to go watch it!Thanks for this!

    • profile image

      Dianne Loomos 

      10 years ago

      I'll probably skip this one as I'm not a fan of horror type movies. I did like Ballet Shoes with Emma Watson that you reviewed a while back. Black Swan looks like a great movie for those who like that genre.

    • tandemonimom lm profile image

      tandemonimom lm 

      10 years ago

      This sounds like a very intriguing movie!


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