Ralph Fiennes stars in and directs The White Crow, the true story of Rudolf
Nureyev (played by Russian Dancer Oleg Ivenko) and his defection to the
west in 1961. Fiennes for his part has crafted a story that, whilst it’s
beautiful to look at, struggles to fill its 127 minute running time with
anything that’s particularly entertaining or interesting.
Fiennes movie could be broken down into a play in three parts. The first
part involves Nureyez’s early life in Russia and is told in flashback. The
second act, again told in flashback, involves his training at the hands of
dance instructor Alexander Ivanovich Pushkin (Fiennes). The third and final
act involves his journey to Paris with members’ of the Kirov Ballet, a
journey that was to eventually lead to his defection to the west.
The defection, when it does come involves Nureyez walking from an airport
lounge into an adjacent room, so don’t go expecting anything along the
lines of Bridge Of Spies.
The one major issue and one that Fiennes struggles to overcome is that
Nureyev isn’t very likable coming across as arrogant and brash any time
that he’s on the screen.
One for fans of Nureyev only.