Part I: Lily
Continuing with our look at the differences between the June 2009 draft of Black Swan and the completed feature film, let's take a look at how Nina herself is handled differently.
One of the earliest differences concerns Nina's audition. I've already mentioned how in the feature, Lily interrupts Nina's audition for the Swan Queen part, causing Nina to stumble. In the script, Lily hasn't shown up then, and the audition ends with the director expressing frustration that she's not passionate enough.
In the script, she goes home and dances in her room until she completes the difficult coda, eventually beaming with satisfaction when she nails it. The next morning, she dolls herself up and reports her accomplishment to the director. He's unimpressed and then forces a kiss on her. It's her aggressive reaction to that which convinces him she's got what it takes to be the Swan Queen.
If you've seen the film, you'll know that all of that is pretty much how it plays out on-screen - with one crucial difference. In the movie, Nina doesn't complete the coda, but lies that she did. Again, I think this is a more interesting character choice. It's an even better example of how fragile and desperate she is for the part - it's the first sign of just how she'll sell out her integrity to get the part. In the script, she's coming from the perspective that she earned it and is capable of it. In the movie, she's more like a student begging their teacher to change their B to an A because they have to have an A! It gives Nina an interesting flaw.
Another change: In the script, Nina sleeps with the director after she gets the part. It happens on p. 41 at the climax of a rehearsal. In the movie, it's VERY strongly suggested that Nina is a virgin, and that she lies at one point when the director asks about the men she's slept with. The scene in the film where the director asks her if she's had sex is not in the script. There also isn't a scene when he gives her an assignment to go home and touch herself.
Adding those scenes to the film, and removing the consummation scene casts the Nina/Director relationship in a different light. It makes him creepier for going after a girl who's somewhat sexually naive. Continuing that, playing up her virginity seems more in line with how her Odette (White Swan) is impeccable, but she struggles with her Black Swan.
In some ways, it's a small change to imply that Nina is a virgin, but it's one that adds a completely different subtext to any moments involving sexuality. Comment below: what's your take - good change or bad change?
Part III: Beth
Part IV: The Natalie Portman/Mila Kunis Sex Scene
2 weeks ago