The psychological thriller Black Swan stars Natalie Portman as the sweet, innocent ballerina Nina Sayers. When Nina gets the role of a lifetime, her world begins to spiral out of control as she strives for perfection.

Black Swan begins with artistic director Thomas Leroy (Vincent Cassel), who is in search for a ballerina fit to play Swan Queen. Leroy needs a ballerina who can portray the duality of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake character; the pure White Swan and the sensual Black Swan.

Nina is perfect for the White Swan; Her life is solely filled with dance, which is ensured by her suffocating mother (Barbara Hershey). Nina’s bedroom is a pink, floral, ballerina disaster- perfect for a seven-year-old, odd for a twenty-something. Her nails are cut by mommy dearest and a rocking chair rests beside Nina’s bed, a perfect spot for a watchful mother.

Nina strives to be Snow Queen, but lacks the seduction required for the Black Swan. When ballerina Lily (Mila Kunis) joins the company, Nina becomes obsessed with the sensual energy Lily possesses. Lily is the perfect Black Swan and takes Nina under her wing, releasing Nina’s repressed dark side.

The role of Snow Queen begins to consume Nina. She believes someone is after her; there are scratches on Nina’s back, she disobeys her mother and Nina spots Lily everywhere she goes. As her eyes redden and feathers poke from her skin, the line between production and reality is blurred.

Black Swan was an interesting film along the lines of Carrie, using blood not only for horror, but as a symbol of growing up. I enjoyed this bizarre film and feel Portman is a worthy Oscar contender, although I don’t believe the film itself is up for nomination. Black Swan relied too heavily on old horror tricks and the concept wasn’t totally original, however Portman’s incredible performance made the flick noteworthy.

Also noteworthy are the costumes featured in Black Swan. The only thing finer than Portman’s performance is the Rodarte ballerina costumes- beautiful tulle, delicate feathers meticulously sewn into the bodice. And while the tutus are magnificent, the white evening gown Nina wears to the gala is what made my heart flutter. Simply stunning.