Cyrano de Bergerac (1990)
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Everything is great about this film, the cast, the costumes, the music, the cinematography. I used to watch this over and over as a kid and I still don't get tired of watching it.
I watch the 1990 Cyrano de Bergerac with Gérard Depardieu every so often (and yet have never reviewed it), and still remember the feeling of seeing it in theaters all those years ago. We came out of there effortlessly rhyming. That's how immersive its poetic world is. If it is the superior version, it isn't just because it's the most faithful to the play, but because it does what film does best relative to theater. It allows the actors to speak in a quiet voice, and act in close-up. That means Depardieu can alternate between Cyrano's bombastic, fearless, public persona, and his shy, insecure, sensitive side. Plays put on film and earlier cinema wasn't always able to do this, but it makes all the difference. I cannot watch this production without smiling through the first acts, and bawling through the last. When I watch English renditions of the story, these are the words and line readings I hear in my head to compare. And it's a good-looking picture as well, as lavish as any high-end period piece, with beautiful music (though I was amused to note this time that the scene where he fights a hundred men makes it sound like he's Tim Burton's Batman). I wish everybody could understand French just to get the full effect, but hopefully, the musicality of the language will register with others
This is a "chick flick" with "guy stuff." It has poetry, romance from afar, some really good period battle sequences, and ultimately "Panache." One of the best truly romantic moments as its climax.
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In 8 official lists
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This movie ranks #17 in César Award - Best Film
This movie ranks #43 in Times' 100 Best French Films
This movie ranks #47 in The 100 Best Films Of World Cinema
This movie ranks #95 in TimeOut's 100 Best Romantic Movies
This movie ranks #143 in Empire 500
This movie ranks #180 in Academy Award Best Foreign Language Film Nominees
This movie ranks #215 in The Guardian's 1000 Films to See Before You Die
This movie ranks #530 in Halliwell's Top 1000: The Ultimate Movie Countdown