Cyrano De Bergerac (2009)
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Critic Reviews for Cyrano De Bergerac
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Audience Reviews for Cyrano De Bergerac
Good enough but something's missing. I blame it on a bad Christian, played by Daniel Sunjata and a stiff interpretation of the story.
I was already familiar with the story of Cyrano from the French film featuring Gérard Depardieu as the classic poet. But it wasn't until seeing this that I was completely captivated by the story. The whole play is charming, but it was Kevin Kline as the title character that I fell in love with - his performance is big enough for the theatre, but subtle enough to be watched pleasingly on DVD; his talent for comedy is displayed often, as is his incredible gift for drama - my favorite scene remains the 'balcony scene', followed closely by the finally (I would say more why I love them, but it rather spoils the fun of seeing it yourself!). Jennifer Garner plays a very sweet Roxanne, though her performance is much broader than a film performance would be (but of course, since it IS a recording of a stage show) and so is rather awkward at times on film. Daniel Sunjata plays the lovestuck Christian, and gives an admirable performance.
One of the greatest love stories ever, destroyed by one person. Most of the cast is quite good. Daniel Sunjata's Christian is sufficiently fluffy for us to believe his character. Kevin Kline, although he occasionally appears to be uncharacteristically (for Cyrano) mocking himself, is very charming in the title role. The translation used is not my personal favorite, and some of my favorite monologues have been chopped in half, but the overall beauty of the story and the language is still kept intact. However, the instant Jennifer Garner opens her mouth, all illusion is lost. She speaks all her lines as an obvious theater "newb," making bizarre theatrical gestures that do not in the least complement the lines, and overenunciating each word with the painstaking awkwardness of someone in a middle school production. Her voice is distractingly unsuited to the classical poetic sound of the story. She may be able to pass as an actress on screen, but on stage, where all camera magic and re-takes are stripped away, she is painfully exposed as having very little to offer. There is no reason either Christian or Cyrano should pine for the love of this bizarre, flailing Roxanne who insert soap opera inflections into each line. If only someone more able had been cast in this role, this would have been a very rewatchable version of my beloved story.
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