What can I say about this movie? It was good, and it was absolutely worth watching. Natalie Portman (playing Nina) looks like a ballerina, and plays perfectly into the role of the socially awkward perfectionist with an extremely repressed passionate side. Mila Kunis (playing Lily) also did a great job as her more carefree rival in the company. I thought Winona Ryder was an inspired choice for the older dancer forced into retirement, and I was sad that she was featured so little.
Okay, I've got that out of the way, what can I tell you about the plot that won't give anything away? So, it's about a ballet company, whose star dancer has just retired (forcefully) and they're now going to move on to a new show, featuring a new dancer from the ranks moving to prominence. The show that they are going to perfom is Swan Lake, (please follow that link if you want know anything about it, because I'm only working on what I learned from the movie) But! They're going to do something different with it, something a little edgier, before the roles of the twin sisters, the white and black swans, have always been protrayed by two different dancers. With this show though, they want to have them both protrayed by the same person.
The drama comes in that Nina represents the prefection and grace of the white swan, while Lily embodies the passion and recklessness of the black swan. I don't think it's spoiling too much to say that Nina is the one who gets chosen, but she has a hard time tapping into her passionate side. And the end result is an eventual destability that is very painful to watch.
Also painful to watch, as I mentioned body horror in the title, is the surprising amount of blood and gore that your forced to see. It's nothing like seeing someone disemboweled, or ripped apart. But Nina has a tendency to scratch herself apparently, to the point of drawing blood, at which point her psycho mother (I know I never mentioned her above, so she's got a mom that was a dancer, but then got pregnant with Nina, and basically blames her for ending her career, and expects her to live out her dream as penance, or something. PSYCHO) comes in with a pair of scissors and starts hacking her nails off, only to cut too close and draw blood.
Now, I've endured my fair share of pain, and I can handle watching people get blown apart, shot, stabbed, beheaded, gutted, all kinds of gruesome things, but something about the subtle yet painful injuries on display in this movie, if you can watch it and not cringe, you've got a much higher threshold for pain than I .
Anyway, it's in theaters! Go see it! Or wait for the DVD! Whatever, just watch it! You won't regret it, or maybe you will, but at least you'll be thinking!