In Inception, an elite team of thieves that infiltrate peoples' minds to steal information is gathered for an unusual mission - they are hired not to take information, but to leave an idea behind. To do so, they wire themselves and their mark into a computer that allows them to walk through carefully constructed dreams... and dreams within dreams... and dreams within those dreams. All this dream-hopping is dangerous for our thieves because it's easy to lose track of what's real and get lost forever. This hazard is all to real for the team leader, Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio), whose wife killed herself, thinking she was in a dream and hoping to wake up. But was she right? Lines are blurred and reality is in question throughout, as the story unfolds. What and who is real? Who can be trusted? Where is the way out?
In Black Swan, Nina (Natale Portman) is a young, driven ballet dancer who scores not one, but two roles of a lifetime in a new production of Swan Lake - she will play the sad, graceful White Swan as well as the sinister Black Swan. She is naturally delicate and embodies the White Swan perfectly, but she is pressured by her castmates, her director, and herself, to find her darker Black Swan side. As she pushes her body and mind to the limit, Nina gets lost in the roles, becoming paranoid and delusional, always questioning the people around her and her own sanity. Who wants her to fail and why? Who and what is real? Throughout the film, we see a fragile woman break in two with the darkest of consequences.
Both films take you into the mind of its lead characters and show that reality is only as tangible as our perceptions.