“As a director, Ralph Fiennes shows the same alertness for telling details and rich characterization that he does as an actor. And that’s saying something. His talent shines in The White Crow, a look at the early life of ballet great Rudolf Nureyev, up to and including his defection from Russia and the Kirov Ballet at the Paris-Le Bourget airport in 1961. He was 23. The White Crow is not a biopic. It’s an impressionistic glimpse at the forces driving Nureyev — something of a diva even then — to accept no borders or limits in letting his artistry run fee. Fiennes gives his period drama a present-tense urgency that draws us into the life of Nureyev in the fascinating act of inventing himself. Fiennes made the bold decision to cast a dancer in the role, figuring it would be impossible to teach an actor to dance like a master. Good call. Ukranian dancer Oleg Ivenko, a soloist at the Jalil Tatar Ballet Theater, brings just the right note of youthful energy and sexual swagger to the role, speaking in Russian and accented English, his eyes alert to every challenge and perceived threat… Fiennes builds suspense and gut-clutching tension at the airport when Nureyev makes his decision to defect” —Peter Travers, Rolling Stone. R. 127 Min.