Martin D. Goodkin


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Entertainment > Movies > "The White Crow"--a Movie Review

"The White Crow"--a Movie Review

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. Synopsis 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. Movie trailer

posted on May 14, 2019 3:33 PM ()


I was young when that happened, but I remember it in general, will enjoy learning more about (the movie version) now that I'm older.

Flash backs and Flash forwards in books and movies can sometimes be confusing for me. I listen to a lot of audio books, and unless there is some clear indication in the story that a time jump has been made, sometimes the story doesn't make much sense. If the time change is big, movies can use different settings, costumes, and makeup to indicate the past, but if it's a matter of a couple of years or months, it's trickier to follow.

One thing I don't like much at all is those reverse chronologies where they go backwards, like that Seinfeld episode. That always seems strained and contrived - a cheap way to get out of better writing, direction, and editing.
comment by traveltales on May 15, 2019 12:18 PM ()
I remember that time--among other things I am older than you--and I was living in NYC when he became the toast of the town but if the mo9vie is any indication though he was a great dancer he was a very arrogant, nasty guy including to the woman who helped him defect!
reply by greatmartin on May 15, 2019 12:32 PM ()

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