This film features Natalie Portman as Nina Sears, an up-and-coming ballet dancer vying for the lead role of the Swan Queen in a contemporary take on "Swan Lake" in her dance company. Portman delivers an impressive performance, covering many facets and dimensions, be it dramatic, emotional, physical, etc. It could be an Oscar-winning Best Actress turn for Portman, she is that good in this film. Both Vincent Cassell (Thomas, who directs the ballet) and Mila Kunis (Lily, a free-spirited dancer waiting in the wings) are solid in their supporting roles, and Barbara Hershey is scarily good as Nina's mother, a former ballerina now living somewhat vicariously through her daughter's career with controlling intentions and overtones. With "Black Swan", director Darren Aronofsky is in full control of his audience's attention, and his cinematic trademark is being able to organically orchestrate the ebb and flow, the ups and downs, of the dramatic tension of the story unfolding that he is able to elicit from his audience through all the tools at his disposal, be it the acting performances, the music, the editing, the choice of camera angles, subtle special effects, the tempo and pacing of the narrative. He's at the top of his directorial game, and "Black Swan" is not to be missed if you are into the psychological thrillers. I give it 3.75 stars or a grade of A-.