The brutal tug of war between east and west culminates in a tense finale at Le Bourget Airport in Paris, where Nureyev
tries to slip his minders with the international media swirling around the departures hall.
Fiennes, who directs and also plays the part of an influential ballet instructor in Rudi's life, Pushkin, has been mulling over this story for about two decades, since he read author Julie Kavanagh's 2007 biography, "Nureyev
: The Life." His long study is evident in the final product, which powerfully blends the sublime transcendence of an artist's intellectual awakening with the exciting tension of a political thriller.
Too much is left unsaid despite a solid, muscular performance from Russian dancer Oleg Ivenko, who makes his feature film debut as Nureyev
and speaks in both English and his native tongue.
The story sees a 22-year-old Nureyev
travel to Paris as a member of the world-renowned Kirov Ballet company.
The title was his childhood nickname meaning 'outsider', and Nureyev
is portrayed as an arrogant paragon of self-improvement with an independent streak which comes from his harsh and impoverished upbringing.
At first Fiennes was only fascinated by Nureyev
's thirst and eagerness to learn and see art.
Played by the renowned Ukrainian dancer Oleg Ivanko, Nureyev
, aided by one of the finest teachers of the time, Fiennes' Pushkin, springs to life with each step, with each move in a narrative that uses flashbacks, though rather clumsily.
Danny said: "When you think about people like Nureyev
, their career was over at the age of 45.
It is perhaps surprising it has taken the French authorities so long to name a race after him, but the Listed Prix Nureyev
(3.20) at Deauville today has attracted a line-up long on potential for its inaugural edition.
Muslim Bashkir Tatar star Nureyev
was born in 1938 aboard the Trans-Siberian Express in the Soviet Union and was one of the biggest stars in ballet until his death in 1993.
No performer on the world stage received so much acclaim and publicity as Rudolf Nureyev
, and no one gave away so little about their private life and thinking.