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Checking out a ballet in reality? Not for me. Seeing Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis in a psychological thriller about ballet? I’ll take it! Interest in Black Swan has been high from the start. As his first film since The Wrestler, the pressure is on for Darren Aronofsky to deliver again and based on these images from the film posted on USA Today, it looks as though he might.
Portman’s character, Nina, is a top dancer at the New York City Ballet who is awarded the opportunity to lead the company’s production of Swan Lake when the original star (Winona Ryder) exits. On top of struggling with a pushy mother (Barbara Hershey) and a controlling dance instructor (Vincent Cassel), she comes face to face with a rival, the company’s newest edition Lily (Kunis). The two strike up a friendship, but Nina just can’t shake the fact that Lily has what she lacks, a carefree and sexual attitude.
The costumes and makeup in these images are absolutely fantastic. And even when Portman isn’t all dolled up for the stage, there’s something inherently dark in the normalcy allowing them to make just as much of an impression.
We won’t have to wait much longer to find out if these pictures represent the quality of the final product because Aronofsky is taking the piece to The Venice International Film Festival. Back in 2008 he was awarded a Golden Lion for The Wrestler and this year he has been given the honor of opening the event with Black Swan on September 1st.