Fox Searchlight Pictures has unveiled the first trailer for Black Swan. The film has been selected to open the 2010 Venice Film Festival on September 1st.

Black Swan stars Natalie Portman as Nina, an accomplished ballerina whose artistic director, Thomas Leroy (Vincent Cassel) has selected her as the lead in his company’s upcoming production of “Swan Lake.” An obstacle soon presents itself in the form of Lily (Mila Kunis), a rival dancer whose evocative and sensual performance style perfectly mirrors Nina’s innocence and grace.

The two ballerinas eventually form a destructive friendship that encourages Nina to get in touch with her darker side – in order to compete with Lily. Nina begins a descent into madness as it becomes unclear whether or not the mysterious Lily actually exists.

The cheerful film (heh) was directed by Darren Aronofsky, whose previous directorial effort The Wrestler not only won the Golden Lion at the 2008 Venice Film Festival – but served as a comeback vehicle for bad boy actor Mickey Rourke.

Black Swan was scripted by Mark Heyman and relative newcomer Andres Heinz.

Check out the first trailer for the supernatural drama below:

The plot of Black Swan contains shades of both Aronofsky’s Kafkaesque thriller Pi and his painfully somber breakout film, Requiem For A Dream. Visually, the ballet drama looks grittier in style – more like The Wrestler and less like the director’s foray into fantasy, The Fountain.

Consider this a definite contender for the upcoming awards season – especially Portman in the acting category.

Whether Black Swan will reach a broader audience than Aronofsky’s previous films remains to be seen – since the film’s disturbing subject matter will likely discourage some moviegoers from seeing it.

I will certainly be in line to check it out when it opens.

Black Swan will be released in theaters in the U.S. on December 1st, 2010.

Source: Apple iTunes