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I couldn't agree with you more about this movie. The parallel I kept drawing was, weirdly, with "Taxi Driver" -- Nina Sayers is in the spotlight, Travis Bickle on the margins, but each of them is twisted brutally out of shape, trying to create a normal romantic/sexual life but having no idea how, and stewing in their individual pressure cookers. If the endings of both films are literal, Nina ultimately kills herself, finding freedom through violence but only against her own body -- while Travis is acclaimed a hero and goes back out into the streets of New York, where we don't know what happens next but suspect it isn't good. If the endings are metaphorical, Travis is the one who dies, rewarded only with his grandiose vision of success; while the Nina who dies at the end of "Black Swan" is only the "white" persona. I'm afraid both endings are literal (though I don't see how a person, however deranged, dances two acts of "Swan Lake" with a fatal gut wound), because I wanted Nina to live on -- live dangerously -- lashing out at something besides her own abused body -- almost desperately.

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