Directed by: Darren Aronofsky
Starring: Barbara Hershey, Mila Kunis, Natalie Portman, Vincent Cassel, Winona Ryder
Genres: Drama, Thriller
Question: I didn't understand the movie. Was it all a metaphor for her descent into madness? And the ending. How much of the movie was imagined and how much was actually real?
Answer: **Spoiler Alert** I would say you are correct about the movie being a metaphor for descent into madness, but also displays themes of repressed sexuality and transformation. As the main character is given the lead role, she must play dual roles, one good and one evil, with the hallucinations representing the latter. Towards the beginning, Nina only embodies the personality traits of the white swan, innocence and grace. As the film gradually progresses, Ninas hallucinations represent her metamorphosis into the seductive and mysterious black swan. The film expertly convinces the audience that Lily (Mila Kunis) is out for Nina's role. In a twist ending, it is revealed that Nina has imagined most of her encounters with lily (including their sexual one) and has instead been battling herself, such as breaking away from her domineering mother and coming to terms with her sexuality. At the end, Nina really does stab herself (but actually hallucinates it is Lily she is stabbing) and her fate is left ambiguous.
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Erica: What happened to my sweet girl? Nina: She's gone!
When Nina and Leroy are standing halfway up the stairs as he is about to announce that she is the new star ballerina, they both hold a glass of champagne. At first, Nina's glass is almost empty; at the end of the scene however, she is holding a full glass.
Actress Mila Kunis was actually recommended by Natalie Portman for the part of Lily.