The story follows Nina (Portman), a ballerina in a New York City ballet company whose life, like all those in her profession, is completely consumed with dance. She lives with her retired ballerina mother Erica (Barbara Hershey) who zealously supports her daughter’s professional ambition. When artistic director Thomas Leroy (Vincent Cassel) decides to replace prima ballerina Beth MacIntyre (Winona Ryder) for the opening production of their new season, Swan Lake, Nina is his first choice. But Nina has competition: a new dancer, Lily (Mila Kunis), who impresses Leroy as well. Swan Lake requires a dancer who can play both the White Swan with innocence and grace, and the Black Swan, who represents guile and sensuality. Nina fits the White Swan role perfectly but Lily is the personification of the Black Swan. As the two young dancers expand their rivalry into a twisted friendship, Nina begins to get more in touch with her dark side with a recklessness that threatens to destroy her.
Nina's greatest nemesis is her obsession for perfection. To quote author Michael Gellert: "Striving for perfection is often confused with the quest for fulfillment: we think that if we can become perfect or create perfect things or situations, we will be happy." I was impressed with director Darren Aronofsky's vision. He combined the grace and beauty of ballet with the exhilaration and terror of a classic tale.
The story, the acting, the dancing, the special effects were all done flawlessly. I would have liked a little more resolution at the end, but I guess that's just not Aronofsky's style. Even still, I enjoyed the film with great delight. I'm a huge fan of this ballet, the music, the story, the undying love, it's what dreams are made of.