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Introduced by Darren Aronofsky

Natalie Portman gives a virtuosic, Oscar-winning turn as Nina Sayers, a sheltered but intensely driven young dancer with a ballet company in New York City, on the verge of getting her big break: a chance to perform the dual role of the Black and White Swans in the company’s production of Swan Lake. When the talented, worldly Lily (Mila Kunis) joins the company, Nina fears that her own claim to the role could be in jeopardy, and begins to experience hallucinations, buckling under the compounding pressures and expectations imposed by the dance company’s icy, egomaniacal artistic director (Vincent Cassel); her mother (Barbara Hershey), herself a former ballerina, with whom Nina shares a claustrophobic city apartment; and her embittered predecessor, the company’s recently ousted prima ballerina (Winona Ryder). Leaning into the expressionistic, velvety chiaroscuro of Matthew Libatique’s 16mm cinematography, director Darren Aronofsky conjures an almost uncanny, starkly forbidding vision of Manhattan, hinting that the punishing, cutthroat conditions that animate Nina’s insular professional milieu are of a piece, perhaps, with the world that extends beyond the theater walls.

Audio descriptions available at this screening.