2019 Film Reviews – 22: The White Crow [dir. Ralph Fiennes; 2018]

If nothing else, The White Crow deserves praise for being a biopic that pretty much stays faithful to the bio. Some would argue that by choosing to end with Rudolph Nureyev’s defection in Paris in 1961, it omits the more tempestuous elements of the man’s life, but at least what’s there is fairly accurate, as far as one can tell. However, even though the climax itself is compellingly staged – Fiennes’ penchant for understatement becomes a strength in the final sequences – the rest of the film feels held back by a static decorousness and by the fact that, talented dancer though he may be, Oleg Ivenko isn’t accomplished enough an actor to convey the complexities of his character’s polarising personality. It’s never less than watchable, but it certainly doesn’t soar with anywhere near as much magnetism as its subject.
Dariush

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