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Black Swan (DVD + Digital Copy) (2010)

337 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel, Barbara Hershey, Winona Ryder
  • Directors: Darren Aronofsky
  • Format: PAL, Dolby, Digital Sound, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 16 May 2011
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (337 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004I5C3U8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,599 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Academy Award® and BAFTA® winner Natalie Portman stars in the award-winning and critically acclaimed Black Swan.

Nina (Portman) is 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 obsessive former ballerina mother Erica (Hershey) who exerts a suffocating control over her. When artistic director Thomas Leroy (Cassel) decides to replace prima ballerina Beth MacIntyre (Ryder) for the opening production of their new season, Swan Lake, Nina is his first choice. But Nina has competition: a new dancer, Lily (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--a recklessness that threatens to destroy her.

"Magnificient” The Times
"Masterpiece" ***** News of the World
"Ravishing" ***** Daily Mirror

From Amazon.co.uk

Feverish worlds such as espionage and warfare have nothing on the hothouse realm of ballet, as director Darren Aronofsky makes clear in Black Swan, his over-the-top delve into a particularly fraught production of Swan Lake. At the very moment hard-working ballerina Nina (Natalie Portman) lands the plum role of the White Swan, her company director (Vincent Cassel) informs her that she'll also play the Black Swan--and while Nina's precise, almost virginal technique will serve her well in the former role, the latter will require a looser, lustier attack. The strain of reaching within herself for these feelings, along with nattering comments from her mother (Barbara Hershey) and the perceived rivalry from a new dancer (Mila Kunis), are enough to make anybody crack… and tracing out the fault lines of Nina's breakdown is right in Aronofsky's wheelhouse. Those cracks are broad indeed, as Nina's psychological instability is telegraphed with blunt-force emphasis in this neurotic roller-coaster ride. The characters are stick figures--literally, in the case of the dancers, but also as single-note stereotypes in the horror show: witchy bad mummy, sexually intimidating male boss, wacko diva (Winona Ryder, as the prima ballerina Nina is replacing). Yet the film does work up some crazed momentum (and undeniably earned its share of critical raves), and the final sequence is one juicy curtain-dropper. A good part of the reason for this is the superbly all-or-nothing performance by Natalie Portman, who packs an enormous amount of ferocity into her small body. Kudos, too, to Tchaikovsky's incredibly durable music, which has meshed well with psychological horror at least since being excerpted for the memorably moody opening credits of the 1931 Dracula, another pirouette through the dark side. --Robert Horton

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By LMK on 24 Sept. 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I watched this expecting to find it a bit pretentious. However, I loved it! It was extremely odd, but compelling - primarily an exploration of one girl's fight for perfection and the madness she drives herself to. I particularly enjoyed the way that as a viewer you are left unsure which parts are reality and which part her imagination. Critics have noted it's not a real presentation of ballet - I think that's true, so don't watch if that's what you're after. Also I saw one reviewer mentioned unnecessary sex scenes - although they are fairly graphic, I felt they were an integral part of the destruction of the character. Certainly not an "easy" watch, nor designed to be fun, but very intelligent (lots of metaphor throughout) and Portman was excellent. I recommend if you enjoy something a little dark and different.
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101 of 116 people found the following review helpful By Graham S. Curtis on 18 July 2011
Format: DVD
Firstly lets get a few things straight. This is not a movie for twee middle class mums to watch with their daughters about being a ballet dancer. Many reviewers seem to think that would be the case. Be warned it is not. The 15 certificate may have given it away. 15 years ago it would have been an 18.

It is a very dark and bleak study of a top ballerina. And believe me Natalie Portman is outstanding. I know nothing about ballet but she seems to have put her heart and soul into this role.

Brilliantly directed, fantastically edited, superbly acted this is a visceral movie of the highest order. But as said earlier this will not be for everyone!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Dowden HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 19 Mar. 2012
Format: DVD
Let’s face it, mum's send their little girls off to ballet lessons and perhaps push them that little bit harder, but ballet at the top is much more than just prancing around in a tutu. Nina's mum gave up her ballet to bring up her daughter, who she wants to live her life through her. Nina is quite sensitive to start off with, but when she wants the part of the Swan Queen in Swan Lake, things start to get harder.

With her teacher not sure that she can play the role of the Black Swan, and fears that another dancer is also after the part Nina finds herself being pushed over the edge. Starting to hallucinate, her life starts to change as she heads towards the final climax, her playing of the Swan Queen. But will Nina be able to survive such a demanding role, when her sanity is already crumbling around her?

This is a really good dark film that draws you in and holds your attention. Also available is a code so that you can also download a digital version to your iPod, etc. If you thought ballet was for sissies, think again.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Camilla Macaulay on 24 Jan. 2012
Format: DVD
SOME SPOILERS I recently overheard two teenagers comment that they want to be "Black Swan thin". After watching the film I can see why, Natalie Portman looks stunningly fragile as bulimic Nina. She has no sign of the rotting teeth and bad skin some bulimics have. She does, however, start to have hallucinations. Whether this is due to her eating disorder or the pressure of being cast as the lead in Swan Lake is unclear. This film is packed with symbolism and I think I will need to watch it again before I can begin to fully understand it. Natalie Portman is perfectly cast and her portrayal of Nina's descent into madness is utterly convincing. It seems to begin when she allows the Black Swan part of her new role take her over. She is usually an uptight perfectionist but she lets her guard down and goes out with another ballerina, Lilly who is mischevous, sexy and very devious. Lilly's character was less convincing. I am not sure how many ambitious ballerinas would have their backs heavily tattooed, surely a drawback when wearing traditional costume? Nina is stifled by the weight of her Mother's expectations and resentment. She has absolutely no privacy, her mother even undresses her at bedtime and puts her in a bedroom fit for a seven year old. Her mother has taught Nina to be totally subservient and there is the slightest hint of sexual abuse. Nina is bullied and manipulated by just about everyone and eventually even the viewer becomes confused about what is real and what is her paranoia. Winona Ryder plays aging ballerina, Beth and her role brings a touch of horror to the film. There is a very explicit sex scene and ten years ago this film would probably have been given an 18 Certificate. I suspect the director got around this by limiting the nudity. A terrific film but not one to watch with your ballet-mad ten year old.
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By Sam Tyler on 16 Sept. 2011
Format: DVD
When it comes to choosing films, those that include ballet dancing are not usually high on my list. I have seen `The Red Shoes' and that was probably enough Swan Lake for a lifetime, or so I thought. One way to make me more interested in your dance film is to include scary images, lady love action and Vincent Cassel - that's an actor I like! Could `Black Swan' cure me of my aversion to ballet?

Nina (Natalie Portman) is a highly ambitious ballet dancer (aren't they all?) who is up for the role of the Swan Princess in maverick Ballet producer Thomas Leroy's (Cassel) version of Swan Lake. She has the white swan down pat, but has she enough darkness to play the black swan? Director Darren Aronofsky plunges the character of Nina into the emotional depths of a woman desperate to please and to succeed. As Nina strives to create the darkness needed for the role, her emotions alter and her personality shifts. She begins to see dark images, but are these in her imagination or real? Portman does a fantastic job of portraying a woman in real crisis. She knows that she is slowly cracking, but it is what she wants. No one is there to help her; it seems that everyone is willing to sacrifice Nina's wellbeing if it makes her a better dancer.

As well as Portman shining, it is Aronofsky's direction that makes the film. Akin to the work of Dario Argento, `Black Swan' mixes ripe drama with horrific imagery. This is not a horror film as such, but does play on the psychology of is characters and you as an audience. `Black Swan' is a great film that made even someone like me vaguely interested in ballet.
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