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Cyrano de Bergerac
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This French language film adaptation of the classic 'Cyrano de Bergerac' released in '90 is without question the most enjoyable 138 minutes in front of the television screen I've experienced in quite some time. Everything about this production is absolute perfection; cinematography, settings, music, screenplay and of course acting.
Gerard Depardieu is an unstoppable force of nature as the eloquent but hot-headed Cyrano. He thunders and rages about one moment only to suddenly turn ethereal and wax poetic the next. The lovely Anne Brochet is a wonderful complement to the blustering Cyrano as his unattainable Roxane and Vincent Perez delivers a strong performance as the handsome but slow tongued Christian.
The dialogue is crisp, textured and witty, however if you're French impaired as I am you'll probably have trouble keeping up with the subtitles. But that's OK, you'll just catch the missing parts the next time you watch and you will definitely watch again and again.
As opposed to the 1950 Jose Ferrer classic, whose sets were rather bare, and whose supporting cast was somewhat cartoonish (which still doesn't detract from Ferrer's tour de force), this production achieves both realism and romance in its beautifully lavish and detailed sets and costumes, not to mention its expertly chosen cast. At all times, you are made to feel as if you were really there, watching real people converse in 17th century France (although I realize that real people don't speak in rhyming couplets), but at other times, such as with the balcony scene, you are transported into a dream or a poem, which is right and proper for this play. I had doubts about Depardieu, but I was able to see him as Cyrano, at least physically. However, he struck me as somewhat too blustering and not as refined as I would expect the character to be (Ferrer was much cooler and nobler, in my view), but I suppose Depardieu knows more about French panache than I do. Unfortunately, the English subtitles employ the execrable Anthony Burgess translation, but that won't be too much of an annoyance to anyone who already has the lines of Hooker rolling around in their head. This is a great movie which should be treasured by any fan of Cyrano, although I would recommend that newcomers should see the Ferrer version first.
This edition is a matted letterbox, which means that it's actually a 4:3 TV image with the full image reduced to fit on the screen of a traditional TV screen and has black mattes on the top and bottom.
However, it should have been presented in anamorphic widescreen - which gives the same presentation on a 4:3 TV but also fits a widescreen television set.
As it is, it will not display properly on a widescreen tv - the image is either stretched out (so that everyone and everything is flat) or is enlarged beyond the border of the tv screen - thus cutting off the subtitles! My wide television has 6 separate display formats but I cannot format a full image on my screen that is not warped or severely cropped. Extremely disappointing.
I'm hoping for a new true anamorphic widescreen edition to be released eventually, but at least I have the film for now.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you do not love this movie, you have no soul. Brought me to tears.Published 6 months ago by Karl T. Disher
Hugely disappointing. I adore this film but this Pathe version has no English audio and no English subtitles. It states there is "Anglais 5. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Marc
I like the French version better than the English version.Published 13 months ago by Phyllis D. Page
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