The two finest films I saw at last month’s Telluride Film Festival were Joe Wright‘s exquisitely made Cyrano (UA Releasing, 12.31) and Reinaldo Marcus Green‘s King Richard (Warner Bros., 11.19). As things currently stand, these are also the most deserving Best Picture contenders…no question. Here, at long last, is the Cyrano trailer:

Posted on 9.2.21: “I’ve been watching filmed adaptations of Edmund Rostand‘s Cyrano de Bergerac for decades (Jose Ferrer‘s 1950 version, Steve Martin‘s Roxanne, the 1990 Gerard Depardieu version, and Michael Lehmann‘s The Truth About Cats and Dogs). Wright’s newbie — an inventively choreographed musical, fortified by first-rate production design and wonderfully lighted cinematography — is arguably the most spiritually and poetically buoyant version of them all.

The acting is top-tier, the musical numbers are arresting, the dialogue is as good as this sort of thing gets, and it’s a truly authentic time-tunnel experience (save for the presentism in the casting, which is par for the course these days).

Peter Dinklage has absolutely hit the jackpot with his titular performance — he’ll definitely be Best Actor-nominated. The film will almost certainly end up being Best Picture-nominated, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the year-end consensus is that Cyrano is a “better” musical than Steven Spielberg‘s West Side Story and Jon Chu‘s In The Heights combined.

Based on Schmidt’s 2018 stage musical of the same name (in which Dinklage and Haley Bennett costarred before moving onto the film version), Cyrano is easily Wright’s best film since Anna Karenina. Seamus McGarvey‘s exquisite cinematography reminded me of David Watkins‘ lensing of Richard Lester‘s The Three Musketeers (’73) — it’s a real trip just to watch and sink into on a visual level alone.

Kudos to Cyrano costars Kelvin Harrison Jr., Bashir Salahuddin and Ben Mendelsohn.