Being the ballet fan that I am, I eagerly trotted to the theater to see The White Crow, a film about Rudolf Nureyev. He famously defected from the Soviet Union while in Paris, and this film had that time of his life front and center.
Rudolf (Oleg Ivenko) lives to dance. From an early age, he showed an aptitude for the graceful art of movement and after many years of study, most famously under Alexander Pushkin (Ralph Fiennes), he embarks on a tour in 1961 with the Kirov Ballet, closely chaperoned by Soviet agents.
We get to see Nureyev in all the complexity of who he was, his charms attracting both men and women to desire him. Clara Saint (Adèle Exarchopolos) becomes a devoted friend, and a helping hand when Nureyev is considering whether to defect. The Soviet agents are conniving and relentless in their manipulations of Nureyev, and really with all the dancers.
Directed by Ralph Fiennes, the film is rated R for some sexuality, graphic nudity, and language. It was heavy on the dance, much to my pleasure. If you are someone not that enamored of ballet, you might not enjoy the film as much. I thought it was excellent.
At this same time, a documentary about the famous dancer hit the art cinema. I would like to see this film simply titled Nureyev to see if it sheds even more light on the White Crow, the very gifted Rudolf Nureyev.
Did you see The White Crow? Do you enjoy ballet, and did you think the film lived up to the high standards Nureyev achieved?