Friday, May 16, 2008

Cyrano de Bergerac

Jean-Paul Rappeneau, 1990
137 minutes, color feature, subtitles
Ages 8 & up (battle scene at end with explosions and some blood)

With musketeers, witty word play, a confederacy of poets, and a story about who and why we love, the story of Cyrano de Bergerac is great for kids. This production features a spirited, soulful performance by Gerard Depardieu. Another great actor, José Ferrer, made a version in 1950 and there are numerous other versions. My 8-year-old had a little trouble keeping up with the subtitles, but there is plenty of action to keep a non-reading viewer interested, and those who don't follow the subtitles can still listen to the music of the rhyming couplets in French. Girl power alert: Roxanne, love object to two men, has little to do but in Act IV does dress up as a man during a fight with Spanish soldiers and sneak food to the French cadets.

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