Film of the Week: Black Swan

In this sensual and psychological thriller, a tortured New York ballerina explores her dark side as she competes to win the coveted lead role as the Black Swan.

The Black Swan

Release date: 21 January 2011

Running time: 107 mins

Director: Darren Aronofsky

Starring: Natalie Portman, Vincent Cassel, Mila Kunis, Barbara Hershey

Rivalry behind the scenes is the theme of this chilling ballet drama set in New York. With an obsessive former ballerina for a mother, Nina (Natalie Portman) is almost suffocated in her commitment to her own dancing at a ballet company. But when artistic director Leroy (Vincent Cassel) wants a new prima ballerina for an upcoming production of Swan Lake, rivalry raises its ugly head. Nina finds herself competing with fellow dancer Lily (Mila Kunis) for Leroy's attentions. As Nina and Lily form an unusual bond, Nina starts to embrace her dark side - but will it eventually destroy her dreams? A brooding drama and an intimate portrait of a woman pushing herself to the limits from the always-intense director Darren Aronofsky.

Screenplay: Mark Heyman

You should see it because: It's dark and twisted, with Natalie Portman surely in the frame for Oscar glory.

See it if you liked: Swimming Pool (2003), The Wrestler (2008), Shutter Island (2010)