Peter Dinklage dazzles in Joe Wright’s Cyrano

In the tradition of the classic MGM movies that celebrate romance lyrically and visually, awardwinning director Joe Wright (Darkest Hour, Anna Karenina, Atonement, Pride & Prejudice) orchestrates a gifted ensemble of actors performing the big-screen epic love story Cyrano.

This bold new adaptation, scripted by Erica Schmidt and filmed on stunning Italian locales, re-imagines the timeless tale of wit, courage, and love. The score and songs are from The National’s Bryce and Aaron Dessner, and Matt Berninger and Carin Besser. In the title role, Peter Dinklage (Emmy® Award winner for Game of Thrones) makes the iconic character his own.

Cyrano de Bergerac (played by Mr. Dinklage) is a man ahead of his time. Dazzling one and all
whether with ferocious wordplay at a verbal joust or with brilliant swordplay in a duel, the hale
and hearty Cyrano exults in gallantry and is always up for a challenge.

Except, that is, in matters of the heart; only there does what his friend and fellow soldier of the revered King’s Guard, Le Bret (Bashir Salahuddin of A Simple Favor), refers to as Cyrano’s “unique physique” inhibit him.

He has yet to declare his feelings for — and to — the luminous Roxanne (Haley Bennett of
Hillbilly Elegy); a lover of literature and a fierce intellect, Roxanne has been a devoted friend to
Cyrano since their hometown days.

He has secretly been in love with her for his entire adult life, but also convinced that his appearance renders him unworthy of her love. From her own perspective, Roxanne seeks to manifest both true romance and a self-determined future; in her overbearing wealthy suitor, the powerful Duke De Guiche (Ben Mendelsohn of Captain Marvel), she can see neither.

Then, once Roxanne locks eyes with newly arrived King’s Guard recruit Christian (Kelvin
Harrison Jr. of The Trial of the Chicago 7), it is love at first sight. Christian is dashing yet conflicted, bright but plagued by doubt.

Roxanne pleads with Cyrano to promise her that he will watch over and protect Christian. Cyrano does so, and encourages Christian to woo Roxanne with love letters — instantly finding that Christian will need to avail himself of Cyrano’s own heartfelt writing skills.

In so doing, Cyrano will at last be able to express his true feelings to Roxanne, albeit through someone else; caught in a cached love triangle, Cyrano finds his conundrum at once vexingly funny and wistfully bittersweet.

Yet he selflessly gives of himself to inspire Christian and empower Roxanne towards each other, even as once-distant drums of war grow louder.

Together and apart they will all experience the heights of happiness, the depths of despair, and destinies beyond what they each might have envisioned for themselves — as a symphony of emotions envelops moviegoers with words, music, and beauty in Cyrano.

Joe Wright: “We’d been in national lockdown for nearly four months when, on the 28th of June 2020, I
received the latest draft of a film with music, which I’d been developing for over two years,
called Cyrano. Later that day I called Eric Fellner at Working Title and said, ‘It’s ready. We
have to do this now.’

“I had a clear idea of how to make the film. I knew where and how and what it would look like. I
knew what it was about. I could see it. I was very excited. We would create our own bubble on
the island of Sicily.

“The first three acts of the five-act structure would be shot in a late-17thCentury Baroque town called Noto. We would use every nook and cranny of that incredible place and if it wasn’t there we wouldn’t shoot it. The film would be a fantasy of a period, somewhere between 1640 and 1712. The costumes would be modern interpretations of period dresses, as much Alexander McQueen as they were Jean-Antoine Watteau.

“The camera would have a sense of freedom, a fluidity much less formal than any of my recent work. The film
would be anarchic, an irreverent celebration of life and a love letter to love. We would transport our audience to a place where life was beautiful again.

“And then we would hard-cut to Mount Etna, a live volcano, and shoot the war sequence at 16,000 ft. above sea level (certainly the most practically challenging choice of my career).

“Finally, the last act of the film would be reduced to an almost minimalist style, as simple as, ‘I love you.’ A kind of heaven. I also knew how it would sound. All the singing would be live. It would be intimate, we should hear their breathing, the tiny imperfections that would break our hearts.

“There would be no fanfare before a song. The actors, without a breath, would move seamlessly from speech to song and back again. Music has always been an enormous part of my life and art; now I would give it full rein.

“Needless to say, Eric thought me crazy. No one would finance this now. No one was making anything. The world was shut down. And so began the craziest production of my career. But in times of crisis we, as storytellers, have a responsibility to gather our community, large or small, around the proverbial campfire and try to help them heal.

“We do this by using the power of our imaginations to tell stories of emotional truth. To offer them light when the world feels impenetrably dark. To offer a place to connect to their emotions and a conduit to express them. A place of beauty, perhaps beauty in an ugly world. A place without cynicism or irony. A
place of love and compassion.

“I have always loved drama. All my films have asked the same central question, ‘How do I connect with others and why do I so often fail to do so?’ Drama, to me, is an attempt to connect with others whilst at the same time an expression of the difficulty in doing so.

“On that June day in 2020, as we sat in isolation, it seemed to me that what we needed most was simple human connection. Cyrano had to be made. All three of the film’s central characters are attempting connection and failing to do so. All three are in love but feel unworthy of the love they seek. Their sense of self gets in their way. And yet the attempt is all. May you find the one you love, and may you tell them so.”

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