Director Ralph Fiennes captures the raw physicality and brilliance of Rudolf Nureyev, whose escape to the West stunned the world at the height of the Cold War. With his magnetic presence, Nureyev emerged as ballet's most famous star, a wild and beautiful dancer limited by the world of 1950s Leningrad. His flirtation with Western artists and ideas led him into a high-stakes game of cat and mouse with the KGB.Written by
When the young Nureyev enters the Leningrad Choreographic School in 1955, the framed photograph on the wall that he gazes at is Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. See more »
In a scene showing a close up of Nureyev's foot performing a tendu, the shoe he is wearing is a white split sole ballet slipper, a shoe that did not exist in the 1960s. Split sole ballet technique shoes have only been on the dance scene since the mid 1990s. See more »
Deliberately Paced Biopic With a Tension Packed Finale
First-time actor Oleg Ivenko gives a strong performance here in the lead role of renowned ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev. The biopic also has a most solid supporting cast and is directed by the fine actor Ralph Fiennes (who also has a supporting role in the film), and is written by the most talented David Hare, based on the book by Julie Kavanagh.
The biopic covers the early years of Nureyev from his most difficult early life in the Soviet Union, his incredible innate talent for ballet dancing, his complicated and flamboyant personality, love of the arts, and a most fervent desire for freedom.
I felt the heart of the movie was the tension filled final 20 minutes or so of Nureyev's defection to the West at a Paris airport, in 1961.He would be the first Soviet notable to do so during the Cold War.
All in all, although this biopic is deliberately paced and a little too long at over 2 hours in length I felt it was a solid effort all around. To note, Rudolph Nureyev would pass away in 1993 from AIDS, at the age of 54.
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