One of the reasons for the diverse reactions could possibly be that this movie has many layers. I was a costume designer for five years and expected to see a movie on the darker side of ballet. That seems to be the number one focus for many, with ballet mums taking their daughters to educate them on the industry. Surprisingly, that's not what I came away with. The plot IS wrapped around the obsession that can be found amongst gifted ballet dancers, but it could easily be based on any "out-of-the-ordinary" athlete or artist. Truly talented people often have a very narrow focus on what they want to achieve that can take over their
life. Experiences in the outside word are limited and they live with very little exposure to how the "normal" world functions. Attracting the attention you need to succeed in any field is difficult and other competitors are knocking at the same doors. Add to the mix a person who is obsessive by nature; a parent who is trying to live out their dreams through their child; a teacher, coach and/or mentor who is trying to build their reputation; and you have Black Swan.