Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins
Film run time: 2hr 7m
Ralph Fiennes and David Hare unite to illuminate the electric life of Rudolf Nureyev, perhaps the greatest male ballet dancer of the last century, exploring his rapid rise to stardom and legendary escape from his Soviet handlers.
Born in obscurity on a Siberian train, Nureyev (flawlessly imitated in look and movement by Oleg Ivenko) became the pride of the USSR through the supervision of Alexander Pushkin (Fiennes), but nursed an irrepressible talent and ego that would not be confined by Communist discipline and austerity. His growing fame soon leads to a trip to Paris in the early 60s, where he is enraptured by the greater opportunity and freedom.
Though shadowed by Soviet watchmen, he begins to form deeper connections with socialite Clara (Adèle Exarchopoulos), raising the suspicion of the KGB further. Soon, he is forced to make a difficult decision about where his home should be.
Though still indulging in amazing balletic pyrotechnics and vividly evoking the period, Fiennes and Hare employ a more opaque and shifting narrative than the standard biopic. This subtlety, however, is never at the expense of an undeniably riveting true story about a magnetic, irrepressible figure.