I consistently read two things about Black Swan - Natalie Portman is a lock for the Oscar and it's a horror movie. I think that Natalie was outstanding and is a lock for at least a nomination but I don't this is a horror movie, I think it's a psychological thriller falling somewhere in between The 6th Sense and Inception.
The movie kept me guessing right up to the end and I'm still not sure about some of it. The first 2/3's I did not find enjoyable. I was put off by the Swan Queen's (Natalie) meekness and just couldn't believe she could be or anyone would make her a prima ballerina. Also, I found the sexual scenes very uncomfortable and had me looking away - they were intense but not in a romantic way.
The movie blasts off like a rocket around the 2/3's mark and only picks up steam until the credits roll. It is so satisfying to see movie that actually gets better and has an ending that takes your breathe away. Save dinner and drinks for after the movie so you and your date/friends can discuss it.
The cinematography is exceptional and it needs to be because it tells the story as there is very little dialog. The dancing of course was brilliant but the finer details - reflections in windows, closeups and lighting were almost as important.
As outstanding as Natalie was, she had lots of support. Winona Ryder (The Dying Swan) stole all of her 4-5 minutes - absolutely brilliant! I loved Mila Kunis (the Black Swan) and wouldn't be surprised if she received a Supporting Oscar nod. Barbara Hershey (The Queen - The Swan Queen's mother) was creepy and made my stomach turn.