The 5 Best Things About Cyrano That Make It A Must-See

Peter Dinklage in Cyrano
(Image credit: United Artists Releasing)

Thanks to awards season, winter of any given year is typically overflowing with spectacular prestige pictures designed to delight cinephiles the world over. This year is no different, as some of the best filmmakers working today have been releasing some brilliant movies in the last couple months – and one of the great highlights among them is Joe Wright’s new musical Cyrano. Nominated for 4 BAFTAs, including Outstanding British Film, the film features a spectacular cast, an amazing soundtrack and is a wonderful story. It’s an emotional cinematic experience you really don’t want to miss.

Based on the classic play Cyrano de Bergerac, and adapted based on the 2018 stage musical of the same name, the new movie tells the tale of its titular hero, Cyrano, (played by Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage) – who is a soldier left suffering through life as a result of bottled emotions, caused by the fact that he can’t tell the target of his affections his true feelings. He has been in love with his best friend, Roxanne (Haley Bennett), for almost as long as he has known her, but fear that she doesn’t feel the same way about him forces him to hide how much he cares for her. When he learns that Roxanne has fallen for Christian (Kelvin Harrison Jr.), a new cadet in his regiment, Cyrano agrees to help the young man woo the beautiful woman, and in doing so the protagonist finds himself expressing his real emotions to his beloved through his romantic rival.

It’s a great adventure full of terrific drama, humor, and music, and while there are a great number of reasons why you should make a special effort to see the film on the big screen, here are five specific ones that will hopefully motivate you to buy a ticket.

Kelvin Harrison Jr and Peter Dinklage in Cyrano

(Image credit: United Artists Releasing)

Peter Dinklage Delivers A Phenomenal Performance

It’s certainly an open secret that Peter Dinklage is a talented actor. From The Station Agent to Game Of Thrones, he has consistently delivered spectacular and emotional turns that have earned him tremendous respect and excellent reputation. This reputation is only further bolstered by his performance as Cyrano. The film marks his first time playing the romantic lead in a film, and as the eponymous character his performance is full of great wit and deep emotions as a man who lets his pride get in the way of his heart – preventing him from confessing his true feelings to the woman he loves. He is surrounded by a stellar supporting cast, all of whom are also brilliant, but Dinklage’s work here is next level, and some of the best work we’ve seen from him in his perpetually impressive career.

Haley Bennett in Cyrano

(Image credit: United Artists Releasing)

It’s An Enchanting And Inspirational Love Story

Based on a true story, the original play Cyrano de Bergerac – written by Edmond Rostand – is well over a century old at this point, but the fact that it is still as impressive and meaningful today as ever is perfect proof of how genuine and heartfelt the material is. As ever, society is riddled with judgements about class and perceptions of beauty, and the new movie is a story about how far too frequently those aesthetics can be rigorous opponents of truth and authentic emotion. While changing a few of the plot elements, but maintaining the original setting, screenwriter Erica Schmidt has sincerely and earnestly captured all of the most important themes and truisms of the original tale, and it feels just as powerful now as it must have felt in the late 19th century. It has a great deal to say about romance without ever feeling schmaltzy or overbearing, and the themes and message of the piece are genuinely inspirational. 

Kelvin Harrison Jr. in Cyrano

(Image credit: United Artists Releasing)

The Movie Has Humor To Match Its Big Heart

The film is primarily a romantic drama, as it’s the intense pangs of unrequited love that drive the plot up until its deeply emotional conclusion, but part of what makes the musical such a stirring cinematic experience is its blend of tones – specifically the regular injections of humor. The movie never loses its commitment to its period setting, which extends to the dialogue, but in this cadence the movie finds many moments to be witty and fun, which serves to only further endear an audience to the cast of characters. Peter Dinklage’s eponymous hero has a wicked tongue that has the ability to tear down any clown who shows him disrespect, but there is also a sparking comedic chemistry between him and Kelvin Harrison Jr.’s Christian that regularly inspires wide smiles. 

Haley Bennett and Ben Mendelsohn in Cyrano

(Image credit: United Artists Releasing)

The Soundtrack Is Exhilarating And Emotional

Recent months have been huge for the big screen musical, as genre fans have seen some fantastic new releases hit theaters, and it’s with that in mind that this sentiment should hold a lot of water: the soundtrack for Cyrano is among the best in recent memory. Aaron and Bryce Dessner, best known as members of the band The National, composed the music for the new movie, with lead singer Matt Berninger contributing lyrics, and the songs are wonderful. The incredibly emotional "Heaven Is Wherever I Fall" is the highlight of the tracklist, sung from the perspective of soldiers penning goodbyes to loved ones as they prepare for a deadly charge on the battlefield, but every ballad featured is gorgeous and performed brilliantly by the cast. 

Haley Bennett in Cyrano

(Image credit: United Artists Releasing)

Joe Wright’s Direction And Seamus McGarvey’s Cinematography Are Gorgeous

Making the film all the more impressive is the fact that it’s Joe Wright’s first venture into the musical genre – the director best known for period dramas like The Darkest Hour and Pride & Prejudice. He proves himself a natural with the material. The movie reteams Wright with cinematographer Seamus McGarvey – who earned Oscar nominations for two of his previous collaborations with the director (Atonement, Anna Karenina) – and they create cinema magic with a vast collection of bold musical sequences featuring sweeping and striking camera work. It’s an adaptation that utilizes every advantage of the medium, as it’s as aesthetically stunning as it is dramatic in its storytelling.

Cyrano will be in cinemas in the UK on February 25, and for all of the reasons noted above and more, you should definitely do yourself a favour and see it on the big screen.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.