For his first feature film Edmond, veteran French actor Alexis Michalik uses extensive creative license to sensationalise the origins of popular 19th-century play Cyrano de Bergerac. The farcical comedy chronicling Edmond Rostand’s first opportunity to avoid laughter from critics effectively uses elements of drama and romance in its multifaceted approach.

After his latest theatrical flop, poet and playwright Edmond Rostand (Thomas Solivérès) spends two years paralysed by anxiety, his wife his only admirer. When the lead diva from his last play organises a five-minute meeting with great actor Constant Coquelin (Olivier Gourmet), he manages to convince Coquelin to play the lead in his new play despite not having written a word. With a deadline of three weeks suddenly thrust upon him, Rostand finds inspiration in an unexpected love triangle.

Helping his friend Léo (Tom Leeb) to capture the affections of costume designer Jeanne d’Alcie (Lucie Boujenah) by writing letters for him, the plan backfires as Jeanne falls in love with Rostand’s poetry rather than Léo himself. Edmond’s This quandary becomes the basis for his play despite Léo being a part of his cast. The fun begins as Orstand manically tries to finish while navigating various obstacles.

The fast-paced comedy of Edmond often pokes fun at the egos of actors and the chaos behind the curtains. Amidst the chaos, the love triangle unfolds mimicking the drama of theatre in witty fashion. Edmond is an immensely entertaining film that brings a unique twist to the biopic genre.

Thank you to Anette Smith and the Australian-based Alliance Française French Film Festival, especially due to COVID-19-related circumstances.

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