BLACK SWAN is an incredible film - brilliant, beautiful, dark, and twisted. One needs to see it more than once to appreciate all the subtlety and nuance; let's be honest, the first time through you're on the edge of your seat just trying to figure out what's going on! You can't possibly notice the little things when you're anticipating the big ones.
The second time I watched it was a much more emotional experience, because there was one pivotal emotion that was missing for our heroine: joy.
Dance is the character's whole life, and her mother's life before her. She had spent countless hours, made numerous sacrifices working towards her dream of becoming a principal dancer. The moment she finds out her dream has come true, she celebrates by . . .ducking into the bathroom to call her mom. Her road to opening night is a lonely one, fraught with self-doubt, paranoia, and an intense drive for perfection.
The lesson? Never Lose Your Joy. Whatever your passion - whether it's ballet, soccer, playing the banjo, or crocheting - don't lose the happiness it brought you in your quest for improvement. Enjoy the journey, and bring the people that enhance your life along with you. Work hard, get better, set goals for yourself, but smile every step of the way knowing that love and joy set you on this path in the first place. Always stop to smell the roses, even if they're not being thrown at your feet by the audience.