The basic idea for the film started when he hired screenwriters to rework a screenplay called The Understudy, which portrayed off-Broadway actors and explored the notion of being haunted by a double. The director had also seen numerous productions of Swan Lake, and he connected the duality of the White Swan and the Black Swan to the script. Regardless, the director found active and inactive dancers to share their experiences with him. He eventually separated the wrestling and the ballet worlds as "too much for one movie".
He compared the two films: But what was amazing to me was how similar the performers in both of these worlds are. They both make incredible use of their bodies to express themselves.
Aronofsky first discussed with Portman the possibility of a ballet film in , and he found she was interested in playing a ballet dancer. Kunis contrasted Lily with Nina, "My character is very loose She's not as technically good as Natalie's character, but she has more passion, naturally. That's what [Nina] lacks. He compared his character to George Balanchine , who co-founded New York City Ballet and was "a control freak, a true artist using sexuality to direct his dancers".
A few months closer to filming, she began choreography training. You wear a tutu and you stand on stage and you look cute and twirl. But this is very different because you can't fake it. You can't just stay in there and like pretend you know what you're doing. Your whole body has to be structured differently. Aronofsky and Portman first discussed a ballet film in , after the release of Requiem for a Dream, though the script had not yet been written. In July , Kunis was cast. Principal photography was achieved using Super 16 mm cameras and began in New York City toward the end of Also, for The Wrestler it was a money-saving thing.
The film stocks on 35mm would become so glossy that they'd get close to what people are doing on video. Like with wrestling, ballet is shot in wide shot with two shots on the side, and no one really brought the camera—well, wrestling—into the ring or for us, onto the stage and into the practice room. I couldn't think of another example where they did that I was concerned if that would affect the suspense, but after a while I said, "screw it, let's go for it.
A publicized controversy arose regarding the question of who had designed 40 ballet costumes for Portman and the dancers. An article in the British newspaper The Independent suggested those costumes had actually been created by Rodarte 's Kate and Laura Mulleavy.
Furthermore, the corps ballet's costumes were designed by Zack Brown for the American Ballet Theatre , and slightly adapted by Westcott and her costume design department. We know that Natalie Portman studied ballet as a kid and had a year of intensive training for the film, but that doesn't add up to being a ballerina. However, it seems that many people believe that Portman did her own dancing in Black Swan.
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack The non-original music featured in Black Swan consists of music by Tchaikovsky featuring performances on-screen and in the soundtrack by violinist Tim Fain  and a track of electronica dance music by English production duo The Chemical Brothers. It marks the fifth consecutive collaboration between Aronofsky and English composer Clint Mansell , who composed the original score for the film. Mansell attempted to score the film based on Tchaikovsky's ballet  but with radical changes to the music.
It received a standing ovation whose length Variety said made it "one of the strongest Venice openers in recent memory".
Clooney is a wonderful actor, and he will always be welcome in Venice. But it was as simple as that. According to The Independent , the film was considered one of "the most highly anticipated" films of late The newspaper then compared it to the ballet film The Red Shoes in having "a nightmarish quality Box office[ edit ] Black Swan had a limited release in select cities in North America on December 3, , in 18 theaters  and was a surprise box office success.
The per location average was the second highest for the opening weekend of behind The King's Speech. The website's critical consensus reads, "Bracingly intense, passionate, and wildly melodramatic, Black Swan glides on Darren Aronofsky's bold direction—and a bravura performance from Natalie Portman. Some found its theatricality maddening, but most declared themselves 'swept away'. Goodridge described Portman's performance, "[She] is captivating as Nina Goodridge praised Libatique's cinematography with the dance scenes and the psychologically "unnerving" scenes: Kirk Honeycutt of The Hollywood Reporter gave the film a mixed review.
He wrote, "[Black Swan] is an instant guilty pleasure, a gorgeously shot, visually complex film whose badness is what's so good about it. You might howl at the sheer audacity of mixing mental illness with the body-fatiguing, mind-numbing rigors of ballet, but its lurid imagery and a hellcat competition between two rival dancers is pretty irresistible.
The critic said of the thematic mashup, "Aronofsky Rojo called the film "lazy It doesn't show why ballet is so important to us — why we would want to try so hard.
List of accolades received by Black Swan Black Swan appeared on many critics' top ten lists of and is frequently considered to be one of the best films of the year.