Although I think it is pretty well known (as Natalie Portmann won the Oscar for playing the main character), here a short summary:
Nina (Portman) is a ballerina in a New York City ballet company whose life, like all those in her profession, is completely consumed with dance. She lives with her obsessive former ballerina mother Erica (Hershey) who exerts a suffocating control over her. When artistic director Thomas Leroy (Cassel) decides to replace prima ballerina Beth MacIntyre (Ryder) for the opening production of their new season, Swan Lake, Nina is his first choice. But Nina has competition: a new dancer, Lily (Kunis), who impresses Leroy as well. Swan Lake requires a dancer who can play both the White Swan with innocence and grace, and the Black Swan, who represents guile and sensuality. Nina fits the White Swan role perfectly but Lily is the personification of the Black Swan. As the two young dancers expand their rivalry into a twisted friendship, Nina begins to get more in touch with her dark side - a recklessness that threatens to destroy her. (source: imdb)
I am a big ballet fan so I simply had to see the film. What made me hesitate was that parts of the film were described as creepy and I am so not a horror film fan ( e.g. when I was small I was terrified of the care bear film...).
A film with a dark side, set in the ballet milieu, with the enchanting Tschaikowski music, a blurring of reality and fiction and good actors - I was determined to like it.
It is a good film...but I found it too dark at times. You leave the cinema all wondering about what is true and how horrible it must be to get mental problems as Nina has (at least that was on my mind). The scary bits were quite scary, there are some pretty disgusting scenes too but the worst bit is that constant baleful atmosphere. I think I have a pretty good idea of what the ballet scene can be like and that it is not all pink, and sweet and elegant but I don't think I would like to see "Black Swan" again too soon.
Especially the bits were she transforms were too much for me and spoiled it. As much as I love all the (positive) weirdness and transformations in "Amelie", if they turn dark it is really not my cup of tea.
And if Portmann deserved the Oscar? Not sure either, she looks scared and haunted in the film...from the beginning to the end, hmm.