(On TV, December 2019) Twenty-first century Gérard Depardieu may not strike anyone as an ideal Cyrano Bergerac—what could an overweight old actor with a scandalous past have to do with a dashing figure known for his wit, grace, charm, and sword-fighting abilities? The point of Cyrano is that he’s an ideal figure if it wasn’t for his unusually pronounced nose and the story keeps revolving around that idea. But peak-era circa-1990 Depardieu is not the figure we know thirty years later—his performance here is a good part of the reason why I consider this to be the finest adaptation (so far) of Cyrano de Bergerac on the big screen. As far as I’m concerned, Cyrano is part of the classics—you don’t judge an adaptation of it on its plot or characters, but on the way it brings them to life. On that measure, writer-director Jean-Paul Rappeneau does well—helped along by Depardieu’s earnest take on the character, a strong visual sense and some great historical recreation. As much as I like Steve Martin’s Cyrano-adjacent comedic take Roxanne, this is the real deal right here, and it’s played as the romantic tragedy that it is.