Cyrano De Bergerac

In this swashbuckling, 2-hour-and-20-minute version of Edmond Rostand’s romantic classic, Gérard Depardieu — sporting a slight enlargement of his already heroic schnoz — appears as a dashing, virile Cyrano, a guy who’s able to command the attention of an entire opera house through his charisma and physical presence. The notion of Cyrano as a domineering egomanic sounds intriguing — but, in fact, the character is such a stud that we can’t quite believe it when he turns out to be neurotically hung up about the size of his nose. It’s as though Arnold Schwarzenegger had suddenly been given the soul of Woody Allen.

Depardieu’s performance has the starry-eyed lyrical fervor the role demands. But where’s the lightness, the comedy? Director Jean-Paul Rappeneau makes the mistake of treating Cyrano de Bergerac as though it were some lost Shakespearean tragedy instead of the wonderfully gimmicky (and familiar) tearjerker it is. The movie has an oppressive, greenish-blue night world look, and Cyrano’s final scene is longer than Lear’s. Still, there’s no denying that this fits the Motion Picture Academy’s notion of ”quality” entertainment. B-

Cyrano De Bergerac
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