The play Cyrano de Bergerac, the American version
Cyrano de Bergerac is a love story written by Edmond Rostand in the late 19th century. This five-act play has become one of the most popular in French theater.
Today, the play is adapted to the cinema and crossed the borders. The American version of Cyrano de Bergerac has just been released with the film Cyrano by director Joe Wright. Edmond Rostand’s play has been freely adapted into a musical for the delight of lovers of romantic dramas. A Cyrano with an American twist that does not lack originality.
The story of Cyrano de Bergerac
The story of Cyrano de Bergerac takes place in 1640. Cyrano is a soldier, bright and with unparalleled talents as a storyteller. He is characterized by a physical peculiarity that is the source of much mockery: a prominent nose.
He is secretly in love with his cousin Roxanne, but she prefers Christian, a young cadet in the army. Christian is a good-looking man, but unfortunately lacks inspiration and a romantic vocabulary. Out of love for his cousin, Cyrano will help the young Christian to conquer the heart of his beloved by writing poems for him. But the subterfuge will only last for a short time…
This classic play was an immediate success from its first performance in the theater. Even today, it is studied in schools. The character of Cyrano de Bergerac is one of the most famous in French literature.
Cyrano de Bergerac in the United States
In 2019, Cyrano de Bergerac performed in the theater by the Comédie-Française and directed by Denis Podalydès crossed the borders for the first time. The film of the play was shown in the United States on giant screens.
This play, which was awarded six Molières, is a showcase for French literary and theatrical art.
Due to the success of this initiative, British director Joe Wright had the idea of adapting Edmond Rostand’s famous play into a movie and turning it into a musical.
The film Cyrano, the adaptation with an American twist
Joe Wright directed an American version of Cyrano de Bergerac, freely inspired by the original work. In this Hollywood version of Cyrano, the main character no longer has a prominent nose, but is distinguished by his dwarfism. The story remains the same, however. Cyrano will suffer from this physical particularity.
The American film Cyrano is distinguished by breathtaking acting and by beautiful costumes. The main actor is none other than Peter Dinklage, the famous Tyron in the Game of Throne series.
The American gaze of this classic play by Edmond Rostand offers us a contemporary, intelligent and surprising cinematographic work. Cyrano’s verses are replaced by songs of rare beauty.
The American version of Cyrano de Bergerac vs. Cyrano in French cinema
If the American version of Cyrano de Bergerac is contemporary and original, its French version is more traditional. I suggest you to discover the French movie version of Cyrano with the actor Gérard Depardieu.
Unlike the American Cyrano, his French version is faithful to the play and his interpretation of the nose tirade is remarkable. This tirade is one of the most famous of the play. Valvert, Cyrano’s rival, violently attacks Cyrano about his unsightly nose. In response, Cyrano replies with a long tirade that has become a cult and which aims to sublimate his nose.
I advise you to discover the American version of Cyrano for its surprising adaptation and its originality, but also the French version of 1990 with Gérard Depardieu for its traditional and faithful side to the work. You can make your own idea and choose the one you prefer!
If you are interested in French literature, then Cyrano de Bergerac is a must-read. If you want to go even further and be entertained to the fullest, the American film version of Cyrano will amaze you. For a film that is more faithful to the work of Edmond Rostand, then the French feature film Cyrano de Bergerac by Jean-Paul Rappeneau will be perfect.
Thank you for taking the time to read my article! I hope you enjoyed discovering this French literary work through film and its American adaptation. Don’t hesitate to ask your questions on the Your online French teacher blog! You want to take French classes, or conversation classes? Contact me for a quote or for the program of individual or group French classes.
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