Black Swan focuses its lens on Nina (Natalie Portman), a New
York City ballerina vying for the lead role in a postmodern
interpretation of Swan Lake helmed by demanding artistic
director Thomas Leroy (Vincent Cassel). Having dismissed his previous
prima ballerina, Beth MacIntyre (Winona Ryder), Leroy seeks a lead
dancer who can embody the innocence and grace of the White Swan and the
eroticism and cunning of the Black Swan. Though impressed with Nina’s
moves as the White Swan, Leroy feels she is too guileless and repressed
to capture the nuances of the darker part, and his eye falls on a new
dancer, Lily (Mila Kunis), whose overt sensuality makes her Nina’s main
competition. Strangely drawn to her rival, Nina forms a risky friendship
that agitates her neurotic mother (Barbara Hershey), a former
ballerina. Nina’s stress causes her to experience terrifying
hallucinations that send her into a psychological tailspin.
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