The White Crow 3.0 stars

White Crow movie poster

For his third outing as a director, Ralph Fiennes gives the title, star billing, and great majority of screen time to Oleg Ivenko in his turn as famed Russian ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev, who also famously defected from the Soviet Union in 1963. But he keeps the keys to the film and its meaning for himself, and turns them, quietly but deliberately, in his role as Pushkin, Nureyev’s teacher. At the outset, Pushkin attributes the dancer’s apolitical pursuit of political asylum to “an explosion of character.” So we know what happens. What remains is to determine the accuracy of Pushkin’s account. Or rather, its precise meaning. Does “explosion” mean a rupture, a violent break with what’s come before? Or is it closer to an eruption, the sudden manifestation of what’s been building under the surface all along? (The title, a term for unusual outsiders, serves as part of the answer here.) What follows is not exactly a warts-and-all artist biopic. It’s more an account of the way that the artistic spirit is a wart, a strange affliction that besets certain people even as it fascinates others. The film is painfully clear in its claim that what we love about talented people is not the person, but the talent. Even Nureyev himself is in thrall to his gift. That’s not why he dances, of course. He dances because…well, why does he? Mentor Pushkin argues that “unless you have a story to tell, you have no reason to dance.” And with that, he turns the key on this intelligent (if not always pleasant) examination. 2018.

Matthew Lickona

Showtimes

Angelika Film Center & Café

11620 Carmel Mountain Road, San Diego, 858-207-2606 | Directions

Wednesday, May 22

4:10pm, 10:10pm

Thursday, May 23

10:15am, 1:05pm, 4:05pm, 7:20pm, 10:10pm

ArcLight La Jolla

4425 La Jolla Village Drive, Suite H60, San Diego, 858-768-7770 | Directions

Wednesday, May 22

2:50pm, 5:25pm, 8:15pm

Thursday, May 23

1:15pm, 2:50pm

Landmark Hillcrest

3965 Fifth Avenue, San Diego, 619-298-2904 | Directions

Wednesday, May 22

4:15pm, 7:10pm, 9:55pm

Thursday, May 23

4:15pm, 7:10pm, 9:55pm

Friday, May 24

1:45pm, 7:00pm

Saturday, May 25

1:45pm, 7:00pm

Sunday, May 26

1:45pm, 7:00pm

Monday, May 27

1:45pm, 7:00pm

Tuesday, May 28

1:45pm, 7:00pm

Wednesday, May 29

1:45pm, 7:00pm

Thursday, May 30

1:45pm

Reading Cinemas Town Square

4665 Clairemont Drive, San Diego, 858-274-9994 | Directions

Wednesday, May 22

4:20pm, 7:10pm, 10:00pm

Thursday, May 23

10:35am, 1:25pm, 4:20pm, 7:10pm, 10:00pm

Friday, May 24

4:20pm

Saturday, May 25

4:20pm

Sunday, May 26

4:20pm

Monday, May 27

4:20pm

Tuesday, May 28

4:20pm

Wednesday, May 29

4:20pm

Thursday, May 30

5:20pm

Regal Parkway Plaza

405 Parkway Plaza, El Cajon, 619-401-3456 | Directions

Wednesday, May 22

4:30pm, 7:30pm, 9:45pm

Thursday, May 23

10:30am, 1:30pm, 4:30pm, 7:30pm, 10:00pm

Regal San Marcos

1180 W. San Marcos Boulevard, San Marcos, 760-471-3734 | Directions

Wednesday, May 22

3:15pm, 6:30pm, 9:45pm

Vintage Village Theatre

820 Orange Avenue, Coronado, 619-437-6161 | Directions

Wednesday, May 22

2:30pm, 5:30pm, 8:30pm

Thursday, May 23

2:30pm, 5:30pm, 8:30pm

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