Since I saw the preview I had been wondering what the title was about and it opens with the definition: Someone who is an outsider, unusual, extraordinary, unlike others. There is no denying Rudolf Nureyev was just that from his dancing and his personality. The former captured the world while the latter turned off and betrayed all those around him. Basically, he was not a nice man.
The film centers around the time Nureyev who at the height of the cold war in 1961 was dancing in Paris and made the decision to defect from Russia. This was before facebook , Instagram, twitter and all the media coverage something like that would draw 24/7 but it did with what was available. Along with the defection he partnered with Margot Foynton -- though she has another name in the movie--older than he was, and already a major star in the English ballet, to both their advantages.
Ralph Fiennes directed the movie and stars as Nureyev's first major teacher. The dance scenes are excellent as is first-time actor Oleg Ivenko doing them and conveying Nureyev's look but is not quite up to the line readings though the screenwriter, David Hare, doesn't really help him with some pretty lame lines.
The biggest mistake Fiennes makes is not telling the story in a linear matter but jumps back and forth between the 1940s, 50s and 60s going from Leningrad to Paris back to Leningrad and though Nureyev was 22 when he defected we see him at many different ages which really doesn't add to the movie. The last 20 minutes, the defection scene is edge of the seat filmmaking even though the ending is well known
The movie is rated R for frontal nudity and for a change it is not female but male full nudity!
"The White Crow" is much better than I expected with an excellent cast, better dancing, and shows an artist gives everything on stage leaving nothing for relations off stage.
Ralph Fiennes' THE WHITE CROW was inspired by the book Rudolf Nureyev: The Life by Julie Kavanaugh. The drama charts the iconic dancer's famed defection from the Soviet Union to the West in 1961, despite KGB efforts to stop him.