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Starring: Peter Dinklage, Haley Bennett, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Bashir Salahuddin, Ben Mendelsohn
OUR RATING: ★★★☆☆
Romantic musical drama directed by Joe Wright based on the 1897 Edmond Rostand play Cyrano de Bergerac. Cyrano (2021) centers on the love triangle between French Army officer, Cyrano (Dinklage), a beautiful woman, Roxanne (Bennett), and handsome new cadet, Christian (Harrison Jr.). Cyrano is deeply in love with Roxanne, but because of his physical appearance, assumes she would never love him back. So when she confides in him that she is in love with Christian, Cyrano, an accomplished wordsmith, helps Christian woo her by writing letters for him to send to her.
Our Favorite Quotes:'They say light is the soul of a holy space. It's designed to be enough. Enough beauty to just let go.' - Cyrano Click To Tweet
Roxanne: I’m hungry.
Marie: A lady never complains.
Roxanne: We can’t eat dresses. If only the Duke had sent bread.
Marie: I think he wants to marry you.
Roxanne: I’d rather marry you.
Marie: He’s a Duke. And you, my dear, a rapidly ageing orphan.
Marie: [referring to De Guiche] He’s here. Now, don’t be rude to him.
Roxanne: I’m not rude. I am enigmatically distant and fashionably late.
Marie: [referring to De Guiche] If you anger him, he’ll ruin us! Marry the Duke and you’ll be rich. A clever marriage is your only option.
Roxanne: I have no intention of marrying anyone.
Marie: Believe me, spinsterhood is bleak.
Roxanne: And love, does that mean nothing to you?
Marie: It might smell rosy for a year or two, but love doesn’t last. What lasts is compromise and sacrifice. Children need love. Adults need money.
Montfleury: In insulting me, you insult the dramatic muse. And worse, you desecrate this theater, this crucible of human humanity. This sacred wooden O.
Cyrano: No, sir. Untrue. I’m sorry, but you lie. You’ve made this stage your personal sty! The dramatic muse has fled the building. She scampered off when you started gilding the lily with your great big voice. The poor muse had no choice.
Theatre Buff: We paid to see a play!
Cyrano: And I have saved you from seeing a fiasco!
Valvert: You. You’re a freak.
Cyrano: The insult is antique, but I accept it.
Cyrano: Is that it? Have you exhausted your dictionary of scorn?
Valvert: Who is this savage who dares to present himself in public without ribbons, bows or braids?
Cyrano: I am not au courant, it’s true. But think of my deeds as my ribbons, my humor as a bow.
Valvert: Oh, do pipe down, or else you’ll drown. In verbosity.
Cyrano: A fellow poet. Pleasure to meet you. Cyrano de Bergerac.
Le Bret: Are you in love?
Cyrano: Whatever gave you that idea?
Le Bret: See, I knew you wouldn’t like it.
Cyrano: Do I seem offended?
Le Bret: No. But your guard is up.
Cyrano: It’s just some things are private.
'Sometimes illusion is kind.' - Cyrano Click To Tweet
Cyrano: Yes. I am in love. I dare. My sole purpose on this Earth is to love Roxanne.
Cyrano: [singing] Have you ever wanted something so badly you cannot breathe? Have you ever loved someone madly?
Le Bret: No, I don’t think I have.
Cyrano: [referring to Roxanne] Isn’t she magnificent?
Le Bret: She is, though perhaps a little vain.
Cyrano: Yes, but magnificently so.
Le Bret: There’s some pretension in there too.
Cyrano: She’s full of it.
Cyrano: Even her imperfections are perfect! In our little town, back in the day, she was practically worshipped. To some she was notorious. To me, glorious.
Le Bret: Does she know?
Cyrano: Do you think a person of her beauty, in mind, body, and soul doesn’t know about it?
Le Bret: I mean, does she know that you’re in love with her?
Cyrano: Someone like me supposing to love perfection? No. If I confessed, she’d never see me again.
Le Bret: You don’t have a very high opinion of her.
Cyrano: What? She’s the Alps.
Le Bret: No, but you don’t think she has the depth to look beyond your…
Le Bret: Unique physique.
Cyrano: Not bad.
Le Bret: Thank you. To love you for who you are, and not for how you look.
Cyrano: Yes, but don’t you see? I am simply not worthy of her.
'A thing is either accurate or it isn't. There are no degrees of accuracy.' - Roxanne (Cyrano) Click To Tweet
Le Bret: You should tell her. You love her!
Cyrano: No. My fate is to love her from afar. To confess is to shatter the beautiful dream.
Le Bret: You forget, I’ve seen you in battle. You’re a fighter to the end. But in love you’ve raised the white flag. Have faith in her. Tell her the truth.
Cyrano: She wants to see me privately.
Le Bret: There it is.
Cyrano: Alone. Oh, no. I cannot succumb to hope! Hope is madness. Hope is hell.
Le Bret: Hope is life!
Cyrano: Oh, I need an army to vanquish! I have ten hearts, I have twenty arms. I could kill a hundred men.
Cyrano: It’s only a scratch.
Roxanne: It’s a wound, and it needs cleaning.
Cyrano: I’ve been wounded many times. This is not a wound.
Roxanne: Then we’ll call it a cut.
Cyrano: “Scratch” is more accurate.
Roxanne: I dispute “more”. A thing is either accurate or it isn’t. There are no degrees of accuracy. You taught me that.
Cyrano: As you wish. I’ll settle for “cut”.
Roxanne: A deep one.
Roxanne: I’m not impressed by your swordsmanship.
Cyrano: Oh, I know. Or rather, I know you pretend you’re not.
Roxanne: I’d be very angry with you if you died.
Cyrano: Only angry?
Roxanne: I am madly in love, but the man in question has no idea. And I don’t know how to tell him.
Cyrano: Perhaps he feels the same?
Roxanne: It’s possible. I have hopes.
Cyrano: How do you know you love him?
Roxanne: Because it’s as if I’ve always known. Always known him. He was always there, but this intense romantic connection had not yet manifested.
Cyrano: I understand.
Roxanne: Supposing it’s all a delusion?
Cyrano: No, you’re clearly in love.
'I would prefer to be loved for my true self or not at all.' - Christian (Cyrano) Click To Tweet
Roxanne: I feel he is rather proud. And very charming. He is mysterious, but not obscure. And his face is so bright with intelligence.
Cyrano: What else?
Roxanne: He’s very beautiful, obviously.
Cyrano: Is he?
Roxanne: Yes. But his natural modesty means he’s completely unaware of it.
Cyrano: I’ve met people like that.
Roxanne: They’re so rare.
Cyrano: Perhaps I could make a confession too?
Roxanne: Yes, but I haven’t made mine yet.
Cyrano: I’m sorry. Please continue.
Roxanne: This man I love is a guard. In your regiment.
Cyrano: Of course he is.
Roxanne: It’s embarrassing to admit, but I’ve never actually spoken to him.
Cyrano: Of your love?
Roxanne: Of anything. It was love at first sight. A thunderbolt. It’s madness. Fantastical. And yet it’s absolutely real.
[Cyrano looks crestfallen]
Roxanne: [to Cyrano] Supposing he’s an idiot. He might just be an incredibly beautiful man with the mind of a rabbit. Except he isn’t. He can’t be. I need him not to be. Anyway, I’ve made some discreet inquiries, and I am told that he is Christian. Christian Neuvillette.
Roxanne: I know how the guards treat the new recruits, your ancient initiation rituals and so on. So, please, will you protect him?
Cyrano: I can refuse you nothing.
Roxanne: And never let him fight a duel?
Roxanne: And guard his life with your own?
Roxanne: And be his friend?
Cyrano: I might not like him.
Roxanne: All the same. Befriend him.
Roxanne: And make him write to me. And I’ll write back. We’ll exchange long, poetic love letters.
Cyrano: I will suggest that he write to you, but I cannot control the content, or length of his letters.
Roxanne: You said you have a confession to make too.
Cyrano: It’s not important.
Roxanne: I will support you as you’ve supported me.
Cyrano: Really, it’s nothing.
De Guiche: I’m told that you write poetry uncommonly well. I like to publish those that I admire. I could put you into print, distinguish you. I’d only change a few lines. I pay handsomely. You could buy a fine pair of calfskin gloves.
Cyrano: I’m not for sale. Neither is my work.
De Guiche: Aren’t you proud.
Cyrano: Aren’t you observant.
De Guiche: Those men last night were incompetent. Others may not be. Someone’s taken against you. Join my retinue, and you’ll be protected.
Cyrano: First, you try to recruit me, then you try to buy me. When you learn I have no price, you warn me that my life is threatened by an unknown enemy. I saw you last night. The blood of those men is on your hands. You’re a tyrant posing as a noble.
De Guiche: Oh, what a shame we can’t accommodate each other. Because you know something? You’d make a sweet little companion to the acquisition I will make. Roxanne.
Cyrano: [to Le Bret] Do you want me to swallow insults? To crawl? To kneel? To beg? Play both sides? Flatter? No, thank you. Live for other people’s opinions of me? No, thank you. I prefer a different life. My own. I answer to no one, and I am content, thank you.
Le Bret: She doesn’t love you?
Cyrano: Don’t ever say it.
Cyrano: [as they’re about to fight] What’s so funny?
Christian: First, I fight an elephant, and now a mole?
Cyrano: What’s your name?
Cyrano: I just like to know the names of the men I kill.
Christian: I’m Christian Neuvillette, sir.
Cyrano: Embrace me.
Cyrano: [referring to Roxanne] We’re old friends, like siblings, but not. We’re very close. She’s told me everything. The theater, love at first sight, all of it.
Christian: She loves me?
Cyrano: She believes so.
Cyrano: Roxanne wants a letter from you.
Christian: Impossible. If I write to her, it’ll drive her away.
Cyrano: Really? Why?
Christian: I can’t write love letters.
Cyrano: You just say what you feel. As long as it’s true, you can’t go wrong.
Christian: But a woman like Roxanne wants wit, romance. Maybe even poetry.
Cyrano: You’re right. You’d better leave town.
Christian: You see, in battle I have inordinate courage. I can do anything. But with women, my whole life I’ve been useless.
Christian: I can’t explain what I feel, not on paper, and not on paper. I don’t know how to speak romantically. Roxanne will be extremely disappointed.
Cyrano: She must not be.
Christian: But I have no wit.
Cyrano: Borrow mine. My words upon your lips.
Christian: I can’t. It’s a lie. I’d be deceiving the woman I love.
Cyrano: It’s better than losing her.
Cyrano: Call it a fantasy, call it a dream, call it pretend. A dream might be a lie, but it’s also true.
Christian: Wait, what?
Cyrano: Sometimes illusion is kind.
Christian: Is it?
Cyrano: I think so. Read a book or two. You’ll find out.
Christian: There’s no need to be patronizing.
Christian: But will the deceit work? Is the prize not worth the risk?
Christian: May I ask, why are you helping me? What can you gain?
Cyrano: My words go to waste unless spoken aloud. I will make you eloquent, while you make me handsome.
Christian: [referring to the letter] When did you write it?
Cyrano: A while ago. I always have a letter in my pocket, written to an imaginary woman. It’s the romantic custom here.
Christian: But don’t you need to make it specific to her?
Cyrano: Count on vanity to make Roxanne think it is only for her.
Christian: But the letter itself is applicable to all women?
Cyrano: Not all.
Christian: I’m convinced we’re destined to be friends for life.
Cyrano: You think?
Christian: The very best of friends.
Cyrano: [Christian embraces him and rushes off] And I, my heart will lend.
Roxanne: [referring to Christian] Every day I think I couldn’t love him any more. Then a new letter arrives, and my heart expands to accommodate more love. He understands me instinctively. He knows exactly what I respond to, what thrills me. It’s uncanny.
Cyrano: I’m pleased for you.
Roxanne: Are you really?
Cyrano: Why wouldn’t I be?
Roxanne: It’s quite tedious having to listen to someone waxing on about finding true love.
Cyrano: Would you love him if he wasn’t handsome?
Roxanne: I cannot imagine it. He is beautiful, and he expresses himself beautifully. It’s perfectly logical. “The more you take of my heart, the more I have to give. Since I need a heart to long for you, keep mine and send me yours.”
Cyrano: First he has too much heart, and then not enough?
Roxanne: You’re jealous.
Roxanne: It’s fascinating. You’re both brilliant, but exact opposites in style. Christian is overt, passionate, fiery.
Cyrano: Whereas I?
Roxanne: You are coded, witty, rueful.
Roxanne: His words aren’t better than yours, just differently put. But both are endlessly quotable.
Cyrano: You know his letters by heart?
Roxanne: Every one.
Roxanne: I so admire your bravery.
De Guiche: Yeah, I’m not brave. I’m dutiful.
Roxanne: You are too modest. It is you who will lead the charge into battle. I could not love a man who hides from danger.
De Guiche: Do you love me?
Roxanne: I love the man for whom I fear.
De Guiche: So I must go to war?
Cyrano: [as Christian is going to meet with Roxanne] Can you at least take a look at these conversational witticisms?
Christian: No, thank you.
Cyrano: Memorize this now!
Christian: I’m going to speak to her in my own words.
Cyrano: I strongly advise against that.
Christian: And when the moment is right, I’ll take her in my arms.
Cyrano: There will be no moment if you don’t study these.
Christian: I’ll be fine. All your fancy words and phrases are now a part of my vocabulary. I’ll simply repeat them.
Christian: I’m very grateful for your help. But, with extreme respect, I don’t think I need you anymore.
Cyrano: Very well. Fly to Roxanne. Dazzle her with your transcendent words.
Roxanne: How did you know I was here? Which is not to say that I flatter myself by thinking you are here to see me.
Christian: I heard about this…
Roxanne: Women’s-only salon?
Christian: Yes. From a friend.
Roxanne: Is she here?
Christian: No, she’s a man. I mean, he is.
Roxanne: There are some silences that are comfortable, and then there are some that are freighted with tension. What do you think the nature of this one is?
Christian: I think it’s a bit of both.
Christian: I love you.
Roxanne: Yes. Sometimes raw, simple words are the most potent deployment of language.
Christian: I love you.
Roxanne: The sheer surprise of repetition. But say some more. What else?
Christian: I love you so much.
Roxanne: When you write, you say it in a thousand different ways, without ever resorting to those three overused little words.
Christian: Which little words?
Christian: My passion has rendered me… What is it?
Christian: No, but it does begin with an S.
Roxanne: Let me know when you’ve found it. And I am not a flower!
Christian: [after his disastrous meeting with Roxanne] Help me. I beg you. If I don’t win her back, I’ll die!
Cyrano: Then you’d better improve your regurgitation skills.
Christian: Alright, I need you. I was an idiot to believe I didn’t. I apologize.
Cyrano: You need me?
Cyrano: Am I essential?
Christian: Of course.
Cyrano: Will you say my words without pedantry, prevarication, or quibbling? Just say yes.
Roxanne: Do you regret what happened this evening?
Roxanne: Yes? That’s your considered explanation and apology? I’m beginning to fear you’re just a weird young man who likes writing letters. Maybe you don’t even love me.
Cyrano: [pretending to be Christian] I like this way of talking. I like being invisible to each other. I cannot be stunned into silence by your beauty. Here in this awkwardness, I am free at last to speak from my heart.
Roxanne: Why is your voice an octave lower?
Cyrano: I’m daring to be myself.
Roxanne: Why would you fear to be yourself?
Cyrano: To be laughed at.
Roxanne: For what?
Cyrano: For having too much emotion. I do not look… Speak as I feel.
Roxanne: You were speaking of a kiss.
Cyrano: Yes, what is a kiss?
Roxanne: Surely, you know.
Cyrano: I meant metaphorically. Is it a vow, a promise, a confession, a secret, a moment of eternity, a communion, a heartbeat?
Roxanne: No more metaphors. Come claim your kiss. Literally.
Cyrano: Go to her.
Christian: It seems wrong now.
Cyrano: She wants you.
De Guiche: [after he’s found out that Roxanne’s married Christian] I’m through with love. It does one nothing but harm.
Roxanne: You promised the guards would not be sent to the front.
De Guiche: Promises? Say goodbye to your husband.
Roxanne: Do you mean to make me a widow?
De Guiche: Only God knows.
Roxanne: [referring to Christian] Cyrano. Promise me he will not be cold or hungry.
Cyrano: I can’t promise that.
Roxanne: Promise me he will be faithful.
Cyrano: Of course he will, but I cannot promise you.
Roxanne: Promise me he will write.
Cyrano: That I can promise you.
Cyrano: Every morning, they shoot. And every morning, they miss.
Le Bret: And one morning, they’ll get lucky. You’re risking your life to send a letter.
Cyrano: I promised her he would write.
Christian: It’s a tear stain.
Cyrano: Is it? That’s odd. We poets sometimes are so moved by our own creations that we… It’s poetic empathy.
Christian: You cried writing this letter?
Cyrano: Yes. I cannot bear not to see her again. We will never see her again. You, her beloved husband, might die and never see her again. That is the tear stain.
Christian: You’re in love with her.
Cyrano: What? You’ve gone mad. You’re starving.
Christian: Deny it then. Do you love her?
Cyrano: It’s too simple.
Christian: I knew it. But I didn’t dare let myself believe it.
Christian: You’ve always loved her.
Cyrano: I will deny it!
Christian: You can’t deny it. You can’t even hide it.
Cyrano: Christian, listen to me. If I should die, and you should live, and she mentions the letters, do not be surprised.
Christian: At what?
Cyrano: If she mentions their volume. You’ve written to her more often than you know.
Christian: She doesn’t love me.
Cyrano: Of course she does.
Christian: In her most recent letter, she said she loves me because of my soul.
Cyrano: What could be more loving?
Christian: You are my soul!
Christian: We have to tell her the truth, and you must confess your love.
Cyrano: The world will never accept a midget and a tall beautiful woman.
Christian: Never mind the world. What about Roxanne? She’s got a huge heart. In the same letter, she reassured me that she’d still love me, even if I return from this hell a broken man, disfigured, and body destroyed.
Cyrano: She said that? Don’t believe her.
Christian: Don’t doubt her.
Cyrano: We have betrayed her. We can never tell her. It’ll break her heart.
Christian: We have to tell her. It’s our moral obligation. We must let her decide our fate. One of us, none of us. She must have the choice. And I’m certain she’ll choose you.
Cyrano: She’s already chosen you. Love at first sight. She married you.
Christian: She doesn’t love me. She doesn’t even know me.
Cyrano: She doesn’t love me either!
Christian: I think she does. And I would prefer to be loved for my true self or not at all.
Cyrano: [after Christian is shot at the frontline] You will live. You will live for Roxanne who loves you.
Christian: Tell her everything. Please. Everything. Roxanne.
[he dies as he takes his last breath]
Mother Marthe: [three years later] Sister Claire, must I remind you, you have accepted a life without mirrors? Stop admiring yourself, or I will be forced to tell Cyrano.
Sister Claire: Oh, no. He’ll make such fun of me.
Mother Marthe: And promise me you will stop trying to convert him.
Sister Claire: He’s been coming here every Saturday for as long as I can remember. Why does he not believe?
Mother Marthe: Miss Roxanne is his faith. His weekly visits are his service.
Sister Claire: It saddens me he won’t see heaven.
Mother Marthe: I’m sure the Lord has a plan for him. You should worry about his remaining time on Earth.
Roxanne: [after Cyrano collapses just before coming to meet her] You’re late.
Cyrano: I was delayed.
Roxanne: By what?
Cyrano: An untimely visitor.
Roxanne: You sent him away?
Cyrano: I fear I only put him off for a short while.
Roxanne: Well, he will have to wait, because I will not let you leave before nightfall.
Roxanne: [referring to how they first time they met] It was as if we’d always known each other.
Cyrano: And now we have. They say light is the soul of a holy space. It’s designed to be enough. Enough beauty to just let go.
Cyrano: [reading Christian’s last letter] “Farewell, Roxanne. I believe this will be my last day, my beloved. My soul is heavy with unexpressed love. Fullness of heart cannot be recorded. It will not live on in my bones when I am gone. It will not be buried in my grave. The exact measure of my love cannot be given to you in words to outlast my last breath. No matter how I wish it, for I am dust. And dust to dust, I’m going to die today, my love.”
Roxanne: You are not reading. You are remembering. It was you.
Cyrano: No, Roxanne.
Roxanne: The voice in the night below my balcony. All of it. You. I married him that night because of your words.
Cyrano: You married him, not my words.
Roxanne: Why are you denying it?
Cyrano: Because I do not love you, my love.
Roxanne: Yes, you do.
Cyrano: Christian loved you.
Roxanne: You wrote that letter.
Roxanne: That tear is yours.
Cyrano: The blood is his!
Roxanne: Why tell me now? Why?
Cyrano: I believe this will be my last day!
Roxanne: [singing] I know, Cyrano. I know who you are. Love, I feel the same. So, no, Cyrano. I won’t let you go. Love’s a painful painful game.
Cyrano: You love me.
Roxanne: Yes. And I will not lose you twice.
[she kisses him]
Roxanne: It’s you I love.
Cyrano: You loved the words.
Roxanne: No. You. I love Cyrano. Cyrano is my love! I have always loved Cyrano.
Cyrano: And I loved my pride.
[Cyrano takes his last breath and dies]