Review: Peter Dinklage takes your breath away in ‘CYRANO.’

Award-winning director Joe Wright envelops moviegoers in a symphony of emotions with music, romance, and beauty in Cyrano, re-imagining the timeless tale of a heartbreaking love triangle. A man ahead of his time, Cyrano de Bergerac (played by Peter Dinklage) dazzles whether with ferocious wordplay at a verbal joust or with brilliant swordplay in a duel. But, convinced that his appearance renders him unworthy of the love of a devoted friend, the luminous Roxanne (Haley Bennett), Cyrano has yet to declare his feelings for her — and Roxanne has fallen in love, at first sight, with Christian (Kelvin Harrison Jr.).


With films like AtonementPride & Prejudice, and Anna Karenina under his belt, Joe Wright was the perfect director for this delicious adaptation of Erica Schmidt‘s stage musical. From page to stage, and now to the big screen, CYRANO is a classic tale of a man hindered by pride. Unable to express his love for Roxanne, Cyrano becomes a pawn in a love triangle. Poetic maestro and prolific swordsman Cyrano has always been in love with childhood friend Roxanne. When she falls in love, at first sight, with the newly arrived Christian, Cyrano promises to protect him from harm. To further complicate matters, Cyrano agrees to write daily love letters to Roxanne, posing as Christian. Filled with catchy songs, delicious wordplay, and performances that will leave you in awe, CYRANO is a musical for the ages.

Kelvin Harrison Jr. plays Christian, a young soldier under Cyrano’s guide. His fresh energy is a superb foil to Dinklage’s worldliness. Ben Mendelsohn plays Duke De Guiche with a slimy foppish style that rubs you the wrong way from the beginning. He is manipulative and, (dare I say) dastardly. 

Haley Bennett, as Roxanne, has the voice of an angel. Effortless and aerie, the perfect ingenue. Her chemistry with Dinklage is electric as they are reprising their roles from Schmidt’s musical. They nail every single beat together. It’s cinematic magic. 

Peter Dinklage is mesmerizing in the titular role. Sometimes an actor comes along that captivates so thoroughly you find yourself lost in their words and presence. Dinklage hypnotizes the audience at every turn with humor, passion, and heartbreak. His confidence translates into an unadulterated sexiness. I found myself swooning as he navigated fight choreography, lyrics, and wit with ease. This performance is nothing less than award-worthy. (Shame on the Academy for no nomination.)

The choreography is spellbinding. The costumes and sets are lush. The cinematography and framing from Seamus McGarvey are characters unto themselves. Schmidt’s screenplay drips with wordplay and longing. With the music by Aaron and Bryce Dessner and lyrics by Matt Berninger and Carin Besser, Joe Wright has a brilliant film on his hands. CYRANO deserves a theatrical viewing. Even at two hours, I did not want it to end. It’s a glorious experience. 


The greatest love story ever told is in theaters everywhere on February 25th.


Cast: Peter Dinklage, Haley Bennett, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Ben Mendelsohn
Directed by: Joe Wright
Screenplay by: Erica Schmidt
Based on: The stage musical adapted and directed by Erica Schmidt, from “Cyrano de Bergerac” by Edmond Rostand, with music by Aaron & Bryce Dessner and lyrics by Matt Berninger & Carin Besser
Producers: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Guy Heeley
Executive Producers: Erica Schmidt, Sarah-Jane Robinson, Sheeraz Shah, Lucas Webb, Matt Berninger, Carin Besser, Aaron Dessner, Bryce Dessner, Kevin Ulrich, Aaron L. Gilbert, Jason Cloth
Music by: Bryce Dessner & Aaron Dessner

Rated: PG-13 for some strong violence, thematic and suggestive material, brief language

Soundtrack Available on Decca Records

About Liz Whittemore

Liz grew up in northern Connecticut and was memorizing movie dialogue from Shirley Temple to A Nightmare on Elm Street at a very early age. She will watch just about any film all the way through (no matter how bad) just to prove a point. A loyal New Englander, a lover of Hollywood, and true inhabitant of The Big Apple.