A ballet director is mounting a production of Swan Lake and is looking to replace his prima ballerina with a new face, someone who will embody both the innocent White Swan and the sensual Black Swan. Stunning window into the incredible dedication it takes to be a great dancer, is highlighted by exceptional performances. Natalie Portman is flawless as Nina Sayers, completely consumed with dance and little else in her life. She’s fragile and sensitive yet obsessively driven by a desire to be perfect. She is matched by Mila Kunis as Lily, an uninhibited rival whom Nina is wary of. She’s even adversely affected by her own domineering mother, a former dancer, chillingly played by Barbara Hershey. Director Darren Aronofsky’s complex story explores many themes. This psychological drama flaunts the human aspiration to supplant those at the top of their game, but also the self destructive effects of our own anxiety. He shows that the line between obsessive ambition and insanity is a fine one. He keeps the audience guessing as things are not always what they seem in this film. Sumptuous cinematography simultaneously highlights the beauty of ballet in dizzying sequences, but also the body destroying consequences of it as well. It’s a viscerally intoxicating mixture, like a hallucinogenic dream that is at once beautiful and horrific. Ballet is not for the weak.