There’s a darkness that bakes everything as if it were an old painting of the 1600s. The set and costumes are dark blacks and browns. Blackened bricks are set above white stone and arches. Jasmine branches bereft of flowers are wrapped around a trellis.
The darkness extends to the soul of Cyrano (Douglas Hodge), a hostile, aggressive guardsman obsessed and made miserable by his outsized nose. Inside the body that bears that misshapen proboscis, to which he gives many crude, self-lacerating names, lies a passion for his childhood friend, the beautiful Roxane (Clémence Poésy), which he dares not express.
We are at a glitzy Moscow cabaret, noshing on pirogi and black bread set on small round lacey cloth-covered tables and quaffing freely flowing vodka. The walls are hung with red drapes, and chandeliers dip from the ceiling. All around us, on risers along the walls and through the spaces between tables, actors in costumes of the early 19th-century Russian military and low nobility enact the drama of love and betrayal between Natasha (Phillipa Soo) and Anatole (Lucas Steele) from Tolstoy’s “War and Peace.”
The mayor in a small coastal town in Norway promotes a town development project that turns out to be toxic. He gets the local newspaper editor to cooperate in suppressing the truth. The doctor who has discovered the danger is the mayor’s brother, but the politician has no qualms in trying to destroy him – to label him an “enemy of the people” — for threatening his position and the financial benefits the project would bring.