Joe Wright is gifted with the direction of period pieces, earning notable praise for directing 2005 ‘Pride and Prejudice’, and this time in 17th century Paris we explore the story of Cyrano de Bergerac. In "Cyrano," musical numbers are so intricate they deserve study, and performances carve a memory into audiences to stand the test of time. Another wonderful, albeit complicated love story that deserves a spot on your watchlist in this exciting cinematic year.
The main characters in this adaptation are wordsmith Cyrano (Peter Dinklage), the beautiful and self-assured Roxanne (Haley Bennett), and love yearning soldier Christian (Kelvin Harrison Jr.). Audiences will primarily follow Cyrano in his plight to communicate his heart to Roxanne who, to Cyrano’s displeasure, has only focused on exploring romance with Christian. The three are quickly caught in a love triangle when Roxanne asks Cyrano to protect the soldier, and a desperate Christian seeks his aid for the love letters he exchanges with Roxanne. It’s dramatic and emotional, making it perfect for the viewer to be in from all angles!
"Cyrano" is a romantic musical that balances spoken dialogue with musical numbers both flashy and intimate in tone. While every character earns respect in their dramatic portrayals, it's impressive to feel the same passion and heart underlining every song. Cyrano’s introduction in “When I Was Born,” or Christian’s dreams sung in the reprise of “Someone to Say '' are just two examples of an album that’s filled with impactful music.
The leads deserve their flowers, but as any thespian would know the ensemble and background players work just as diligently to serve Wright’s vision to the fullest. It’s in the busiest of scenes where every actor is of equal importance, creating a real space only when they all sell it. That is especially clear in choreography, which proudly works with whatever props are in the scene, delivering excellent visuals in a dance with sword-ography, dough-ography, and more. Listening to each vocalist in the songs is half the excitement, as you’ll be captivated by the scene entirely.
I am familiar with the strength behind Dinklage’s acting, any “Game of Thrones” fan would be, and he doesn’t miss a beat in his portrayal of Cyrano de Bergerac. While the character typically has a larger than large nose, so large it brands him an outcast, this Cyrano is looked at differently because he is a little person. Quickly it’s realized he is a force of his own and Dinklage helps display the character’s suave nature and confidence under any scenario, looking good while doing it too.
Costuming from the jump is a top contender for awards. I admired seeing Roxanne during transitions as I am mesmerized by the elaborate dresses worn here and there, for minor outings, and still dressed head to toe with immaculate detail. The 2022 Academy Award nominations were shared recently, and "Cyrano" appeared once, in the costuming category.
Joe Wright and the team behind "Cyrano" have created something that audiences will love - madly.
"Cyrano" releases in theaters Friday, February 25th.
For more of my reviews for Odyssey, check me out here, follow me on Twitter @NoahsPlotting, and listen to my podcast Plot Devices on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.
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