‘Cyrano’ speaks the language of love

A woman stands, arms thrust back, holding a letter as the wind blows curtains and pieces of paper around a room.
Haley Bennett as the smitten Roxanne walks through a room of fluttering handwritten letters in Joe Wright’s “Cyrano.”
(Peter Mountain / Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures)

“Cinema is a wonderful way to express the interior mind or imagination of a person who is in love,” says “Cyrano” cinematographer Seamus McGarvey. Here, we see a magical moment with Roxanne (Haley Bennett) lustfully consumed in the numerous love letters written by Cyrano (Peter Dinklage) under the guise of the soldier Christian (Kelvin Harrison Jr.). “The scene allowed us to move away from our naturalistic tendencies and be more expressive, to employ movement and dance in an expressive way,” notes McGarvey. “It allows us to create this dialogue between these people who are solitary but still physically connecting.” A vibrant texture of blues and gold accentuates Roxanne’s whimsical radiance with the cinematographer turning to long lenses, flares and a blooming bokeh blur to illuminate the transcendent feeling of being swept off her feet. — Daron James