The poster and trailer for Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan have appeared online, successfully stirring up much intrigue for the director’s latest haunting endeavour.
The film stars Natalie Portman as Nina, an obsessive ballerina in a New York company’s production of Swan Lake. She takes on the part of the White Swan, replacing former prima ballerina Beth MacIntyre, played by Winona Ryder.
But things become altogether more menacing when Mila Kunis shows up as new dancer Lily, who steals the attentions of the company’s director, played by Vincent Cassel. Lily fits the part of the sly and sensual Black Swan, but a bitter rivalry begins between them, which morphs into a somewhat twisted friendship.
Aronofsky’s certainly no stranger to sinister film-making. He made his directorial début in 1998 with the psychological thriller Pi, and his portrait of addiction and delusion in Requiem for a Dream earned the film recognition as being “one of the most beautifully unpleasant movies ever made”.
So far Aronofsky’s biggest commercial success has been with The Wrestler, starring Mickey Rourke as a has-been wrestler given one last chance. This trailer suggests his latest film will be just as filled with the foreboding and eerie weirdness for which the director is famed. Portman reportedly likened the tone of Black Swan to Roman Polanski’s macabre thriller, Rosemary’s Baby.
It’s not hard to see that, apart from anything else, this film is set to be visually stunning. Aside from the cast’s dance coaching from the prestigious American Ballet Theatre, Portman’s transformation from the innocent White Swan into something much darker promises to be nothing short of mesmerising.
Portman said of her part in the the film, “I’m trying to find roles that demand more adulthood from me because you can get stuck in a very awful cute cycle as a woman in film, especially being such a small person.”
As for the beautiful Mila Kunis, this film is a far cry from her roles in Forgetting Sarah Marshall and That 70s Show, with Aronofsky reportedly claiming that she “electrified” him and “made the screen sizzle”. However, whether or not remarkable aesthetics and first-class acting performances might end up being overshadowed by reports of the film’s lesbian overtones remains yet to be seen.
Black Swan will have its world premiere as the opening film at the 67th Venice Film Festival in September 2010, as well as a screening later that month at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film will have a limited public release in select cities on December 1, 2010.
Watch the trailer below, and read our review of the film here.