Peter Dinklage is hypnotic in this romantic musical

EVERYONE can identify with a character who is too scared to reveal their true feelings for someone, through fear of rejection.

Cyrano, a swooningly romantic musical by Atonement director Joe Wright, is a story of unrequited love and is one of many versions of Cyrano de Bergerac, the 1897 play by Edmond Rostand.

This tale of unrequited love will win your heart

On stage, James McAvoy is currently playing the lead role in the West End.

Cyrano (Peter Dinklage) is an exceptionally talented soldier who has an obstacle in life and is deemed a freak because of it.

In the original play it was a very large nose, but in this case it is height. Or lack of it.

The beautiful and boisterous Roxanne (Haley Bennett) is in desperate search of love. But as we soon discover, she already has plenty of it.

Roxanne is loved by three men — Cyrano, nice-but-dim Christian (Kelvin Harrison, Jr) and the cruel, predatory De Guiche (Ben Mendelsohn).

She has known Cyrano since childhood, putting him very much in the friend zone. De Guiche has money — something her maid reminds Roxanne she desperately needs — but he repulses her.

Then there is Christian, a newcomer to the military unit in which Cyrano serves.

He is handsome and when Roxanne sets eyes on him at the theatre, the pair fall in love at first sight. Without saying a single word to each other, she decides he’s The One.

But while easy on the eye, he is less skilled with the written word and leans on the poetic Cyrano to ghostwrite his love letters to Roxanne.

He pretends it is simply to help Christian but we know it is a way of telling her his true feelings.

Dinklage is hypnotic as Cyrano, his weathered face and furrowed features turning from proud to vulnerable in a second, his deep, secret love for Roxanne expressed painfully well.

Originally adapted by Dinklage’s wife, writer Erica Schmidt as a musical to be performed on stage, it moves seamlessly to the big screen via Wright’s excellent direction.

The sets are lush and the songs range from heart-warming to heartbreaking, with one number, Wherever I Fall, not leaving my ear for days.

This tale of unrequited love will win your heart.

THIS Helen Mirren and Jim Broadbent comedy is about a painting of a duke going missing — but no, it’s nothing to do with Prince Andrew’s portrait being taken down.

Instead it is based on the true story of Newcastle taxi driver Kempton Bunton, a campaigner for free TV licences who was accused of stealing a portrait of the Duke of Wellington by Spanish artist Francisco Goya.

The Duke is based on the true story of Newcastle taxi driver Kempton Bunton

The Duke is based on the true story of Newcastle taxi driver Kempton Bunton

Its disappearance from the National Gallery in 1961 became headline news across the world, and highly skilled thieves were the prime suspects.

Instead, it appeared to be 60-year-old Kempton (Broadbent) who had given the clueless cops the run-around.

The final movie from Notting Hill director Roger Michell, who died last year, makes the most of this tale of an eccentric underdog who ties the Establishment in knots.

There is lots of fun to be had in a gentle Ealing-style comedy that reveals the absurdity of life.

But the big laughs come from Kempton’s wonderful turns of phrase, such as telling his son: “You’d lose your balls if they weren’t in a bag.”

And they are matched by long-suffering wife Dorothy (Mirren) puncturing Kempton’s lofty ideals with her loving barbs.

It would be a crime if The Duke were to flop at the box office.

LET’S not beat around the bush — this is a daft film from start to finish.

In a tongue-in-cheek spoof where Spinal Tap meets Tarantino-style comic horror, rock superstar Dave Grohl and his Foo Fighters bandmates arrive at a Hollywood mansion to record their next album.

Let's not beat around the bush — this is a daft film from start to finish.

Let’s not beat around the bush — this is a daft film from start to finish.

The six-piece stadium outfit quickly discover the last group to use the property met a grisly end while working on their own record, with the evil spirits left behind turning Grohl into a demonic monster hell-bent on killing his co-stars.

But don’t let such absurdity put you off. There is plenty for fans to enjoy if you are prepared to suspend your disbelief and embrace this for what it is.

An amusing, unexpected cameo from a furious Lionel Richie is a highlight, while there are plenty of musical moments showcasing what a good band the Foos are – which perhaps makes it all the more surprising that they are happy to send themselves up.

While it doesn’t capture the brilliance of Spinal Tap’s satire, it pokes fun at life in a band — and as Dave himself put it in an interview with The Sun this week: “Every lead singer has thought about killing their bandmates a few times.”

Hopefully this film has got the urge out of his system.


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