Peter Dinklage spent many years brooding on “Game of Thrones,” which makes his upcoming role in Joe Wright’s musical re-imagining of “Cyrano” such a redefining moment in his career. Dinklage stars opposite Haley Bennett and Kelvin Harrison Jr. in this spin on the classic story, which now includes music composed by The National. Wright, coming off the critical misfire “The Woman in the Window,” is back in the period romance genre that made him a household name with “Pride and Prejudice.”
The official “Cyrano” synopsis from MGM reads: “Award-winning director Joe Wright envelops moviegoers in a symphony of emotions with music, romance, and beauty in ‘Cyrano,’ re-imagining the timeless tale of a heartbreaking love triangle. A man ahead of his time, Cyrano de Bergerac (played by Peter Dinklage) dazzles whether with ferocious wordplay at a verbal joust or with brilliant swordplay in a duel. But, convinced that his appearance renders him unworthy of the love of a devoted friend, the luminous Roxanne (Haley Bennett), Cyrano has yet to declare his feelings for her — and Roxanne has fallen in love, at first sight, with Christian (Kelvin Harrison, Jr.).”
In his review out of Telluride, IndieWire chief film critic David Ehrlich referred to “Cyrano” as “one of the more gonzo works of mainstream art that someone has made in defiance of a plague since ‘The Decameron.'” Ehrlich gave considerable praise to Peter Dinklage’s lead performance.
“The actor has never shied away from roles that hinge on his size — in large part, one imagines, because he’s only been offered so many alternatives — but his Cyrano allows him to confront the insecurities that come with any physical difference more candidly than ever before,” Ehrlich writes. “Cyrano de Bergerac is nothing if not a tragedy about a proud man diminished by self-doubt, Dinklage’s implosive performance is so poignant for how Cyrano struggles to escape the atonality of his own thoughts.”
In an interview with IndieWire during the making of “Cyrano,” Haley Bennett said the musical was pushing her limits due to the fact that she’s working so closely with her romantic partner Wright. It’s an “incredibly intimate experience,” she said. “And intimacy is sometimes absolutely terrifying, because as human beings, we want to be impressive to our partners. It feels like working without skin in a lot of ways…like I’m walking around skinless.”
MGM is opening “Cyrano” in select theaters December 31. Watch the official trailer for the musical below.