ELVIS – Review by Susan Granger

Don’t for a minute think this is a bio-pic. It isn’t. Luhrmann discarded historical accuracy in favor of a grotesque carnival of fictionalized glitz and glamour, tracing how Black singers B.B. King (Kelvin Harrison Jr.), Little Richard (Alton Mason), Sister Rosetta Tharpe (Yola Quartey), Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup (Gary Clark Jr.), Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton (Shonka Dukureh) and Mahalia Jackson (Cle Morgan) inspired Elvis.
The deliriously melodramatic story is told by promoter Col. Tom Parker (Tom Hanks), who first spotted Elvis (Austin Butler) in 1954 at the Louisiana Hayride, where the naïve, nervous singer with locomotive hips electrified the audience.

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CYRANO – Review by April Neale

Director Joe Wright‘s Cyrano is a feast for the eyes. The latest story is based loosely on the life of Savinien de Cyrano de Bergerac, a French novelist, playwright, epistolarian, and duelist from the 1600s. In 1897, the French poet Edmond Rostand published a play, Cyrano de Bergerac, also based in broad strokes on Cyrano’s life. Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac and Wright’s version are both tragedies, with loss at every turn.

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CYRANO – Review by Susan Granger

It’s not about the nose! Director Joe Wright re-imagines Edmund Rostand’s 1897 poetic drama Cyrano de Bergerac about a swashbuckling poet/solider with self-esteem issues. In her musical adaptation of the French classic love story, Erika Schmidt discards the gigantic nose as an impediment and substitutes short stature. Cyrano is embodied by Peter Dinklage.

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CYRANO – Review by Diane Carson

Cyrano charms and surprises with songs, dances, and duels. Confirming, again, that revered stories attract, perhaps even need, updates, director Joe Wright’s reinterpretation of Cyrano both charms and surprises. Its unexpected tone and style, replete with songs, dances, and duels, features the amazingly versatile Peter Dinklage as the love-struck but insecure poet Cyrano de Bergerac longing for the beautiful Roxanne. He’s certain his height precludes any romantic success. Familiarity with Edmond Rostand’s legendary 1897 story may help viewers immerse themselves in this version, but the acting and action, the lavish art direction and superb staging (shot in Noto, Sicily) make this adaptation a triumph.

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CYRANO – Review by Joan Amenn

Sometimes a film takes a second viewing to make you aware of how much it moves you. If you have a rather cynical view of romance, perhaps, “Cyrano” (2021) won’t be your cup of tea. Or you might find yourself humming one of the tunes from the soundtrack days later and realize this very romantic film has worked itself through your thorny defenses despite yourself. I confess I am in the latter camp.

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CYRANO – Review by Valerie Kalfrin

Cyrano, a musical adaptation of Edmond Rostand’s famous tragic romance, is as besotted with language as is its protagonist, a man enraptured with a woman he thinks won’t love him back. Besotted and enraptured might seem heady words nowadays, but heightened wordplay is the lingua franca of this film’s Paris of 1640, where people admire the cut of a barb as much as swordsmanship.

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WAVES – Review by Susan Granger

“The road to hell is paved with good intentions” is a proverb dating back to the 11th century’s Saint Bernard of Clairvaux. That’s perhaps the best way to describe Trey Edward Shults’ saga about an upper-middle-class, African-American family in suburban South Florida in which a domineering father who thinks he’s doing all the right things to keep his volatile 18 year-old son on the right track.

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LUCE – Review by Carla Renata

Luce will disturb audiences well after the credits have rolled. There are so many issues being played out in the form of social acceptance and pressure, racism, entitlement and what face the truth takes. At the end of the day, we’re left with questions about the pressures one encounters simply by being a human navigating in this world that moves at warp speed.

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