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Army officer, famous swordsman and celebrated poet Cyrano de Bergerac (Gerard Dépardieu) is in love with his cousin Roxane (Anne Brochet). Unfortunately Cyrano is tortured by the belief that his very bog nose will prevent him ever finding true happiness. When Roxane confides her love for handsome but bland young soldier Baron Christian de Neuvillette (Vincent Perez), Cyrano agrees to compose love letters on de Neuvillette's behalf.

Review by Richard Kuipers:
A handy essay on the factual, literary and film history of Savinien Cyrano de Bergerac (1619-1655) informs us that this is at least the fourth film version of the Edmond Rostand play that premiered in Paris in 1898. Superbly performed and decorated, Jean-Paul Rappeneau and co-writer Jean-Claude Carriere's adaptation is without doubt Cyrano's finest hour on the small or silver screen.

There's more here than simply Gerard Dépardieu's magnificent performance as the man whose oversized proboscis is matched by his wit, swordplay and love for his beautiful cousin Roxane Rolin. Dépardieu, considerably younger than most actors to have played the role, fills the screen but doesn't chew the scenery. His is a finely judged portrayal of a man who is at once a master fighter capable of defeating 100 men in combat, a brilliant orator whose every rhyming couplet brings gasps from the crowd and a tortured soul whose bravado hides a crushing sorrow - 'Look and tell me what exuberance I have with this protuberance'. Surrounding him is a Roxane of agreeably greater substance than previously presented, Vincent Perez a drop-dead hunky de Neuvillette - 'a brainless fool' by his own admission - and a dazzling arrangement of sets, costumes and extras.

This is style and substance at its best - director Rappeneau has us gasping at Cyrano's lusty swordplay one minute and deeply moved by his emotional pain the next. Bonuses on this DVD include a delightful interview with Dépardieu recorded in Sydney by The Movie Show's Margaret Pomeranz, Roger Ebert's review and unusually detailed biographies and filmographies of main cast members. I also liked the sword highlighter that appears on the menu. A nice addition to a highly recommended release.

Published January 10, 2002

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You can buy it HERE - next day delivery within Australia

France (1990)

CAST: Gerard Dépardieu, Jacques Weber, Anne Brochet, Vincent Perez, Roland Bertin, Josiane Stoleru.

DIRECTOR: Jean-Paul Rappeneau


SPECIAL FEATURES: 1.66:1 Transfer, Gerard Dépardieu Interview, Legend of Cyrano Essay, Roger Ebert Review. Language: French. Subtitles: English (burnt on)

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Umbrella Entertainment/The AV Channel

DVD RELEASE: October 24, 2001

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