Sunday, May 19, 2024

“White Crow” Ballet Movie Shows Its Box Office Legs

In a time when theatres are teeming with action and special effects, it’s refreshing to see a smaller film that focuses on the character study rather than cinematic gimmicks.

One of those pictures is “The White Crow,” another entry in the developing portfolio of Ralph Fiennes as a director.

Fiennes seems to find passion projects to direct which he’s also has played roles in all three of the movies he’s directed. He’s taking more a backseat in “Crow,” leaving the accolades and applause for his impressive co-star Oleg Ivenko, who makes an impressive film debut as notorious ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev.

Like Nureyev, Ivenko is a dancer first and actor second. He has some serious ballet shoes to fill as Nureyev was one of the best ballet dancers of our time.

While sexually fluid with a like for both sexes, the film definitely and wisely makes that just a fact of life and not a plot.

Instead, “Crow” focuses on Nureyev’s drive and determination and even his pompous attitude, knowing he is the best dancer.

It also follows his defection, which makes some of the film’s most tense and memorable moments.

In addition to the memorable work by our lead star, the film also has standout choreography and magnificent cinematography by Mike Eley, who manages to make dance sequences look elegant in comparison to scenes of Russia, filmed cold and stark.

Ivenko also gets support for a uniformly wonderful support cast, led by Fiennes.

The movie opened in New York and Los Angeles in late April. It’s been slowing building up buzz and interest and has expanded to other markets.

This weekend, it opened to even more markets (including the San Francisco Bay Area and Palm Springs) and will go even farther next weekend.

To find it near you, go to

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Kevin M. Thomas

Kevin M. Thomas, or @ReelKev, is an arts blogger and entertainment reporter. In addition to his own website, and ReelKev YouTube channel, Kevin used to be the LGBT arts writer for and contributes to as well as a semi-regular on San Francisco's cable TV show, "10 Percent."

Kevin M. Thomas has 157 posts and counting. See all posts by Kevin M. Thomas

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