The White Crow Review


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Hey Lovelies,

Since his turn at directing Coriolanus and The Invisible Woman, Ralph Fiennes’ third film, The White Crow, tells the story of Rudolf Nureyev (Oleg Ivanko), a rising ballet star in Russia in beautiful detail. One that will be celebrated highly today, as it is released on DVD, Blu-ray and digitally.

Beginning life on a train in Siberia, Nureyev’s life is surrounded by the world of movement. Whether it be as the star of the Russian Kirov Ballet or in his later life, everything comes with a sense of embodiment and the power to transport into something else. Especially when he seeks political asylum during a tour of Paris at Le Bourget airport.

Set in 1961, the story is the most recent in the timeline of Fiennes’ films. Yet, it tells a political piece that could fit into any of his features. It could work with the hardships of Dickins’ world. It could fall into the world of the ballet. It could even piece together a modern story set in today. However, the story doesn’t always work in the ways in which it tells of the troubles and strives, as it melds into a confusing set piece.

The story is a blend of both trying to show the world of Nureyev and that of the one he watches. By doing this Fiennes’ has tried to be to complex in his filmmaking. He has taken something that could have been simple and powerful in every sense. But due to the nature of how it plays out, it simply can’t find a place to blend, until near enough the end of the film.

It often feels like writer David Hare, who has tried to weave together three eras of the dancer’s life, hasn’t been able to get Fiennes’ to completely see his vision. Leaving a mark on the film that can’t be overseen by the viewer. However, for many, it won’t completely taint the viewing of the feature. For any fans of Fiennes’, it will be a joy as always to see. Especially when it comes to the acting, he does within it.

With a mismatched historical storyline and a failure in the visions from both the writer and director, The White Crow can be hard to watch at times. Yet, it still manages to pack a historical punch that will leave you learning something new. What that may be only time will tell.

3 Stars

Joey X

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