Synopsis: Consider this one a ballet thriller. Black Swan tells the story of a dancer who completely lets the world of ballet consume her. Oscar nominee Natalie Portman plays Nina Sayers, the young, beautiful ballerina who gets the chance of a lifetime when she’s called on to be the lead of the New York Ballet’s opening production. But she has to overcome a few obstacles first: her smothering mother (Barbara Hershey); an edgier new rival on the scene (Mila Kunis), her tough artistic director (Vincent Cassel) and the aging diva she’s replacing (Winona Ryder). But there’s much more she has to overcome in this dark, haunting Darren Aronofsky film.
My Thoughts: I definitely recommend this movie. I didn’t have many preconceptions going into it. But it’s still a much different film than I ever thought it was going to be. The ride is thrilling, unexpected, beautifully acted and surprising in so many different ways. Natalie Portman does an amazing job â€“ so much so I think she’ll get an Oscar nomination. I really think Mila Kunis’ performance is one of the best parts of the movie. Vincent Cassel has a magnificent presence not to mention is super sexy. And I consider Winona Ryder very brave playing the role of the washed up ballerina. Plus, the dance numbers are incredible. This picture is stellar on so many levels from casting to directing to acting to editing. Go see this movie.
Black Swan hits theaters today.
But this is a TV Ties feature so before we get into the Black Swan actors that are more widely known for their television projects, I have to talk about Natalie Portman’s brush with TV greatness. In 2006, she did an excellent job hosting an episode of Saturday Night Live. The skit I loved most was when she rapped on the digital short she did with Andy Samberg and the cast. It was brilliant and it was great to see Natalie in a comedic setting. I don’t know if it matches her flair for the dramatic, but it was good to see her in that environment.
Mila Kunis is making her mark in the movies with roles in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, The Book of Eli and now in Black Swan. And even though she’s talented enough to be a movie star in her own right; I’ll never forget her as Jackie Burkhart on Fox’s That ’70s Show. Kunis was so good on that late great sitcom. Jackie was smart, spunky, opinionated and controlling. And even though she and Ashton Kutcher’s Kelso were magic as a couple, I actually loved when Jackie hooked up with Hyde. They were it for me. Of course, Mila still entertains TV audiences as the voice of Meg Griffin on Fox’s Family Guy. And I’ll always have a soft spot for her because she did a Funny or Die spoof of The Hills with James Franco where she played Audrina to Franco’s Justin Bobby.
Sebastian Stan has a small role in Black Swan. He plays Andrew, one of the guys hitting on Natalie and Mila’s characters at a bar. Stan was a series regular on the short-lived NBC drama Kings but to this CW girl, he’s best known as bad boy Carter Baizen on Gossip Girl where he caused lots of trouble and dated Serena.
In Black Swan, Ksenia plays Veronica. For part of the movie I kept thinking I knew her from somewhere. I finally figured out sheâ€™s Tasha, Luxâ€™s best friend on the nearly-departed but totally awesome Life Unexpected on the CW. It turns out Ksenia Solo (love her name; itâ€™s one of those where you always want to say her first and last name together) also stars in the Canadian supernatural series Lost Girl. Her co-star is Kris Holden-Reid. Kris, if you recall, is one of our choices to play Klaus on The Vampire Diaries. Anyway, Ksenia has striking looks so that automatically makes her a standout on Life Unexpected as well as in Black Swan.
Tina Sloan is one of the patrons in Black Swan. Daytime fans might recognize Sloan from her longtime role as Lillian Raines on the now defunct soap Guiding Light and as a cast member of the web soap Venice the Series.
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