Sometimes a film looks and feels like poetry in motion to me. At Eternity’s Gate, a movie with Willem Dafoe as painter Vincent Van Gogh, and Yesterday, an offering paying homage to the music of The Beatles, are two recent examples. The latest one is Cyrano, a unique musical starring Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones) as Cyrano de Bergerac. You read that last sentence right! Dinklage sings much of the dialogue, and he sounds great.
This lively version of the 1897 play by Edmond Rostand was adapted by Erica Schmidt, who just happens to be Dinklage’s wife. And Joe Wright, who gave us a wonderful Pride & Prejudice back in 2005, signed on as director. Plus, original music by Bryce Dressen and Aron Dressen as well as lovely performances by Haley Bennett as Roxanne and Kelvin Harrison Jr. as Christian (rounding out the story’s love triangle), add to the movie’s high quality.
In keeping of the film’s emphasis on Cyrano’s poetry, I had to write the poem below.
Music, romance and poetry
in CYRANO so beautifully
blending together on the screen
with images that must be seen.
Action, drama and humor too
all combine to entertain you.
Period costumes fascinate.
Humanity themes resonate.
Casting is the biggest surprise
with Peter Dinklage as the prize.
A Cyrano with normal nose.
Small stature causing him to pose.
Hiding his love for dear Roxanne
Writing love notes for other man.
His pride keeps him from telling her.
While watching this, our hearts do stir.
A film treasure is CYRANO.
Behold a splendid picture show!
Several Cyrano movies have been made in the past. The three I've seen are a 1950 production co-starring Jose Ferrer (who won an Oscar for his performance) and Mala Powers, a 1987 film titled Roxanne with Steve Martin and Daryl Hannah, and a 1990 French offering with Gerard Depardieu and Catherine Deneuve. The Roxanne release takes place in modern times with the Cyrano character turned into a poetic chief fireman.
But this new version is the best yet. Perhaps it’s the music and poetry that makes me feel more deeply about what’s happening on screen. I know the powerful emotions that accompany writing and reading poems and listening to music, especially poems and songs about love.
My favorite scene involves a balcony and the three main characters. It’s funny, heartbreaking, and so well-played by Dinklage, Bennett and Harrison Jr. that you might want to see it over and over again.
As a dancer during much of my life, I wish Cyrano included more dancing, but the dance sequences that made the cut are intriguing and easy on the eye.
Cyrano was originally scheduled for a January release, but that has been changed to late February (2022). And, oh yes, the Detroit Film Critics Society named Peter Dinklage Best Actor for his outstanding Cyrano performance. And the film earned an Oscar nomination for costume design. Also, this awesome movie ended up as my favorite film of the year.
(Released by MGM and rated “PG-13” by MPAA.)