Disclaimer this post contains movie spoilers
The White Crow is a 2019 biopic about Rudolph Nureyev. In the 1960s Nureyev made a big splash when he defected to the West. In the ballet world he is respected as one of the greatest artists of his generation.
Ballet is a great passion of mine. Most movies about ballet recently have had only about five minutes of actual ballet. So I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of ballet content in this film.
Ralph Fiennes is better known to our generation as He Who Must Not Be Named. Yes this film was directed by the same actor who plays Lord Voldimort. He used two different cinematic styles: black and white footage for childhood flashbacks and color for present day.
To be fair I enjoyed the movie greatly. But I do have some criticisms. There was a lot of jumping around time wise. Sometimes he would be in the studio six years prior and other times it would be 1961.
The film also has moments where it is shot from the point of view of the character and that was slightly jarring. For most of the film I did feel as if I was taking a trip to Paris. A beautiful city and a wonderful backdrop to the events that unfolded.
Rudolph Nureyev defected to the West at the end of the film. He does not leave for political reasons but due to artistic freedom he had not been offered at the Kirov ballet. During his time in Paris he spent time away from his Soviet company.
This film captures Nureyev's artistic temperament to put it lightly. He seems to alienate those closest to him by his abrupt anger. He also seems childlike at times like in his desire for a model train set.
Nureyev is known as a boy born on a train. His life was changed when at age six he was able to see an opera performance. It was then that he knew he wanted the stage and theatre to he his home. His home life was very simple.
The White Crow was an excellent film. It captured a moment in time that was pivotal for the dance world. The amount of actual ballet content is pleasing. However most of the dancing is a rehearsals with a few crumbs of costumed performances. Overall I would reccomend it for any dance aficionados in your life.
Additionally I must state that there are a few scenes that may make audience members squeamish. In one scene Nureyev's dance teachers wife seduces him rather directly. In Paris, Nureyev and his friends do visit a topless bar. There are also a few nude scenes involving characters getting out of bed. Due to this content I would reccomend this film for adults only.