Black Swan (dir. Darren Aronofsky) was one of the first movies that inspired me to learn more about the art of filmmaking. When I watched it as a naive 11 year old (seems inappropriate for that age, but I’ve always loved horror films) the film stuck out to me as nothing but a psychological horror movie. I didn’t think much of it at the time. But over the years, I’ve grown to appreciate it so much that it has become one of my favorite movies. Black Swan is not just a creepy psychological horror movie. It is a film about being so passionate about something to the point where it drives you mad. The lead character played excellently by Natalie Portman who in my opinion gives the best performance of her entire career, is thrown into a battle against herself to be the perfect swan queen and slowly drives herself into madness trying to achieve perfection.
A quote from this film that has always stood out to me is “The only person standing in your way is you.” This quote has stuck with me for years, even on my first viewing as an 11 year old. I always think back to this when I find myself blaming others for my problems or failures. It reminds me that I will never achieve greatness if I do not take matters into my own hands. To accomplish your goals and succeed in doing what you love, you need to work with yourself, that against yourself.