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CYRANO (in theatres)

Edmond Rostand’s (1867-1918) 1897 play “Cyrano de Bergerac” loosely based on fact, romanticizing one cousin’s fatal attraction for another has assaulted the most hardened of hearts, leaving them weakened by its poetic effulgence. Director Joe Wright’s 2021 spin on the pungently prestigious tale is a masterful metaphor on idioms: “don’t judge a book by its cover”, “looks can be deceiving”, “more than a pretty face”; Peter Dinklage, as Cyrano de Bergerac, is masterful, magical; his swordsmanship unquestionably daunting; as a bard, Shakespearian in lyricism, poignancy, blissfully beautiful; his every fiber, every waking moment, is informed by his love for “Roxanne” (enchanting, angelic Haley Bennett), who desperately loves Christian” (Kelvin Harrison, Jr. the weakest link in the trinity); Dinklage and Bennett give hefty, sublime, intelligent, chemically-charged delineations of historical characters infused with integrity, strength, indelibility.

Aaron and Bryce Dessner’s (folk group “The National”) soundtrack stirs the soul, encompassing the frustrations of the age, longing for the unattainable, “letters” of affection written on a doomed battlefield (Thirty Years War, 1818-1648); stunning sentiments resoundingly resplendent today as yesterday.

It is Dinklage’s film, joining the myriad of actors in the “Cyrano” league: Jose Ferrer, James Mason, Gerard Depardieu, Christopher Plummer, Peter Donat, Derek Jacobi, Kevin Kline; it is Peter Dinklage’s depiction that has them bested “by a nose”.



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