Cyrano – Movie Review

TL;DR – While there are some hard turns throughout this film, it is a true delight when it soars.    

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Disclosure – I was invited to a press screening of this film

Cyrano. Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Cyrano Review

For me personally, I don’t need a film to be perfect. It can be filled with flaws, but as long as it still reaches me emotionally, that is fine. That emotion can be joy, sadness, wonder, or even anger. Today we look at just such a film that enraptured me in places and frustrated me in others.

So to set the scene, we open in France, which has been at war for an age. Roxanne (Haley Bennett) is getting ready to be taken to the theatre by De Guiche (Ben Mendelsohn), a man she does not love, but he paid for the tickets. The theatre was a joy right up until a voice calls out from the shadows decrying the leading actor. The voice head of The Guards and childhood friend of Roxanne, Cyrano de Bergerac (Peter Dinklage). Cyrano is profoundly in love with Roxanne but has never declared his intentions. Later that night, Roxanne’s attendant Marie (Monica Dolan) invites Cyrano to a private meeting with Roxanne. Cyrano is ecstatic, but this is short-lived when she asks him to look out for her love Christian de Neuvillette (Kelvin Harrison Jr.). Christian doesn’t know how to confess his love for Roxanne, so Cyrano makes a deal. He will write romantic prose for Roxanne but under the name of Christian.   

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The Black Emperor of Broadway – Movie Review

TL;DR – A look at a revolutionary figure in Broadway’s past and the layers of oppression he had to go through to get where he did.     

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Warning – Extensive use of blackface

The Black Emperor of Broadway. Image Credit: Vision Films.

Review

If there is one large blind spot in my art history, it is Broadway. I didn’t come from a musical theatre background, so any introduction to this world is welcome. Today we look at a film that explores this through the life of Charles Sidney Gilpin one of its first Black stars. I should say that before we dive in as a bit of a warning that this is a film very much set in the 1920s and the language and depictions used in the movie are consistent with that time which may be difficult for some viewers.

So to set the scene, Charles Sidney Gilpin (Shaun Parkes) is working in a blackface minstrel show that goes around entertaining white people at parties. He hates the work and tries to get a job a legitimate actor which is difficult in a time when few roles are written for black men, and white people in blackface perform most of them. That chance finally comes when noted play write Eugene O’Neill (John Hensley) writes his newest play The Emperor Jones about a leader of Haiti and he wants Charles for the role.

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