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Theatrical Cyrano (2022)

JoeStemme

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Title: Cyrano

Tagline: Have you ever loved someone?

Genre: Drama, Romance

Director: Joe Wright

Cast: Peter Dinklage, Haley Bennett, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Ben Mendelsohn, Bashir Salahuddin, Monica Dolan, Joshua James, Anjana Vasan, Ruth Sheen, Glen Hansard, Sam Amidon, Scott Folan, Mark Benton, Richard McCabe, Peter Wight, Tim McMullan, Mark Bagnall, Mike Shepherd, Paul Biddiss, Katy Owen, Paul Hunter, Celeste Dodwell, Celeste Dring, Bettrys Jones, Nandi Bhebhe, Colin Mace, Lucas Peters, Leo Rait, Kyla Goodey, Beverly Rudd, Giles King, Carl Grose, Sarah Wright, John Locke

Release: 2022-01-06

Runtime: 124

Plot: A man ahead of his time, Cyrano de Bergerac dazzles whether with ferocious wordplay at a verbal joust or with brilliant swordplay in a duel. But, convinced that his appearance renders him unworthy of the love of a devoted friend, the luminous Roxanne, Cyrano has yet to declare his feelings for her—and Roxanne has fallen in love, at first sight, with Christian.

Ever since the story of the 17th Century Cyrano de Bergerac has been dramatized (with artistic license, of course) the one element that has essentially remained constant is that the source of his lack of self-esteem has been the size of his protuberance in the center of his face (perhaps most amusingly portrayed in the terrific Steve Martin comedy ROXANNE). Casting Peter Dinklage as the title character here eliminates the need for the usual heavy make-up and artificial noses. So obvious here that in the opening scene he is immediately tabbed as a “freak”. Dinklage's Cyrano also displays the characters usual rapier wit, a masterful way with romantic verse, and dazzling swordsmanship.


cyrano-film-review-t.jpg
Joe Wright's terrific movie is based on the 2019 musical adaptation by Erica Schmidt (she also wrote the screenplay) which starred Dinklage (Schmidt and Dinklage are married). Also returning from the play is Haley Bennett as a voluptuous Roxanne. Their working history together gives the film an immediate sense of the long-term relationship the pair of characters are supposed to have had (Cyrano likens them to siblings). The dashing but, tongue-tied Christian is played well by Kelvin Harrison Jr., while the dastardly De Guiche is suitably acted by Ben Mendelsohn at his mustache-twirling best. Bashir Salahuddin makes for a fine Le Bret, Cyrano's confidant.

It's a handsome production (Sarah Greenwood, designer) with excellent cinematography by Seamus McGarvey and Costumes by Massimo Cantini Parrini (Oscar nominated). Joe Wright's Direction has his usual panache, but, always in service to the text and characters. Aaron Dessner and Bryce Dessner adapt their stage music to good effect, even if some of the songs' lyrics aren't all equal to the score. The cast performs them with energy and emotion.

While the story holds few surprises, it is the quality of the acting here that elevates the production. Bennett treads the fine line between Roxanne's intelligence on one hand, and the character's heedless love at first sight emotions. Still, without Dinklage, this Cyrano would simply be yet another a well mounted version. One of the finest actors of his generation, Dinklage gives the character an inner strength and pathos that goes far beyond stature alone. One truly feels the turmoil a life of unrequited love (and respect) his Cyrano has endured. It's a beautifully rendered performance, that also requires great physical skill both outwardly and emotionally. His performance is cinema poetry of the highest order.
 

Mike Frezon

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I was surprised to learn this was a musical (in a rather scathing review of the film). None of the TV ads for the film had given me ANY idea that this film was a musical. The trailer included in the OP here doesn't hide the fact, but the TV ads I've seen are another story.

In fact, after I heard that review, I mentioned it was a musical to my wife and she expressed the same surprise.
 

JoeStemme

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I certainly don't hide it in my review. What I will say is that it's not a traditional musical. The songs compliment the screenplay. The script is so strong you can easily trim them down and it wouldn't effect the overall effect very much.
The play's the thing, here. And, the players - especially Dinklage.
 

TravisR

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I was surprised to learn this was a musical (in a rather scathing review of the film). None of the TV ads for the film had given me ANY idea that this film was a musical. The trailer included in the OP here doesn't hide the fact, but the TV ads I've seen are another story.
I think you can pin it on the lack of success of In The Heights and West Side Story.
 

JoeStemme

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If people are not fans of musicals, I doubt they'll appreciate being lured into seeing one when they're not expecting it.
A. It's too bad that WEST SIDE STORY, CYRANO and IN THE HEIGHTS underperfmed. All are entertaining.
B. As I wrote above, CYRANO doesn't rely on the musical aspect as much as a 'traditional' musical. There are only a couple of 'numbers' with elaborate staging. Most are just the characters expressing themselves in song
 

TonyD

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Add me to the list of those who had no idea this was a musical.

I’m a bit cooler on this now.
 

DaveF

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Cyrano was delightful cinema! Especially the first third of the movie, I was transported. I think it slumps a bit in the latter half, moving away from the tangled love story to spend time examining Cyrano himself, and comes to a satisfyingly tragic end.

I’ve not followed Peter Dinklage’s career and only seen in ancillary roles, such as in Avengers and Elf. I was unprepared for his magnificent performance in Cyrano. I need to go see more of his work now.

The music for Cyrano was solid to great. It’s akin to The Greatest Showman, in that it’s all “constructed” music, following the rules for good pop musical to ensure a good movie, but nothing truly transcendent you get from breakout art. Still, combined with the performers and unexpected background choreography, as a whole it did transcend at times. And I’d listen to the soundtrack on its own.

I don’t know that Cyrano is a great movie, if it will stand the test of time. But I enjoyed it and glad I watched it.
 

Colin Jacobson

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Cyrano was delightful cinema! Especially the first third of the movie, I was transported. I think it slumps a bit in the latter half, moving away from the tangled love story to spend time examining Cyrano himself, and comes to a satisfyingly tragic end.

I’ve not followed Peter Dinklage’s career and only seen in ancillary roles, such as in Avengers and Elf. I was unprepared for his magnificent performance in Cyrano. I need to go see more of his work now.

The music for Cyrano was solid to great. It’s akin to The Greatest Showman, in that it’s all “constructed” music, following the rules for good pop musical to ensure a good movie, but nothing truly transcendent you get from breakout art. Still, combined with the performers and unexpected background choreography, as a whole it did transcend at times. And I’d listen to the soundtrack on its own.

I don’t know that Cyrano is a great movie, if it will stand the test of time. But I enjoyed it and glad I watched it.

Stand the test of time? It didn't even stand the 123 minutes I spent with it! :laugh:
 
Movie information in first post provided by The Movie Database

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