Actor-directorRalph Fiennes’s third feature focuses on world-famous, ultra- flamboyant ballet star Rudolf Nureyev, featuring piercingly blue-eyed Ukrainian dancer Oleg Ivenko in his first film role. Scripted by David Hare from Julie Kavanagh’s 2007 biography, the narrative flashes back and forth between his birth on atrans-Siberian train, childhood, and training, and his pivotal visit to Pariswith the Kirov Ballet in 1961. Ever troublesome to his KGB minders, the young Nureyev embraces Paris, frequenting the Louvre, hanging out at jazz clubs andcabarets with Chilean heiress Clara Saint, and exploring his sexuality. Fiennes’s approach is understated rather than flashy, but vividly evokes the atmosphere and texture of the time. The numerous ballet sequences are truly stunning and everything tends towards that politically electric moment when Nureyev jumps the barrier at Le Bourget airport.