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August 30, 2002 - Image 88

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2002-08-30

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

YOUR
WORLD
CAN
. CHANGE
OVER •
LUNCH.
41

1 T S

\) V LUNCHr

Dating for Busy Professionals ®

Entertainment

Directors:

Angela
Johnson

At The Movies

Nancy
Ansara

`My Wife Is An Actress'

Heather
Hill

An ordinary guy copes with the temptations of his
wife's career in French comedy screening at the DFT.

Pamela
Lanier

AUDREY BECKER

Special to the Jewish News

Nancy
Kirsch

I

is not uncommon for celebrities
to marry other celebrities. That
way, they have a partner who —
for better or worse — understands the
complicated life of the cultural star.
But what happens when a movie
star marries an "ordinary" guy?
This is the premise of Israeli-born
Yvan Attars quick and witty
French comedy My Wife Is an
Actress, showing Aug. 30-Sept.
1 at the Detroit Film Theatre.
Director/screenwriter Attal stars as
"Yvan," a handsome Jewish sports-
writer. Yvan is married to French film
star "Charlotte," played by Attal's real-
life wife, Charlotte Gainsbourg (The

Jennifer
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Difficulties arise for Yvan not only
because Charlotte is repeatedly
approached for autographs and photos
but because her latest movie has pro-
pelled her to sex symbol status. To
make matters worse, Charlotte is leav-
ing for London to begin work on her

next film, starring opposite a British
actor with Sean Connery-like sex
appeal (Terence Stamp).
What follows is Yvan's self-defeating
attempts to come to terms with his
wife's on-screen love scenes.
My Wife Is an Actress is an enjoyable,
light comedy that satisfies in many
ways. The pace is excellent, and Attal
— an actor for more than a dozen
years — has a keen.sense of timing.
It's thoroughly entertaining
to watch Yvan's jealousy esca-
late as he grapples with the
distinction between acting and
reality. How can filming a sex scene be
just another day at work for his wife?
But the film doesn't quite rise to the
challenges it poses. My Wife Is an
Actress suggests fundamental philo-
sophical questions about the nature of
theater and performance that go unex-
amined.
After all, Plato banished the poets
and playwrights from his Republic
because they wrote fictions that
prompted people to believe in false
things. The film flirts with these more

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French filmmaker Yvan Attal on what
it means to be Jewish.

• MICHAEL FOX

Special to the Jewish News

or a filmmaker on a pub- •
licity tour to promote a
comedy, Yvan Attal, direC-
tor . of My Wife Is an
Actress, is surprisingly earnest.
Yes, it's risky to attempt jokes in
one's second language. The truth,
though, is that Anal takes the subject
of Jewish identity extremely seriously.
"I have kind of an obsession with
the fact that I'm Jewish, that it's
important to stay Jewish and that cir-
cumcising your son is the first thing
you can do for your child — and for
you — to stay Jewish," he says.
Attal also is the star of My Wife Is
• an Actress, his feature debut as a

director. He plays Yvan, a Jewish
sportswriter who's routinely annoyed
by the celebrity of his movie-star
wife, played by Charlotte
Gainsbourg, Attal's real-life wife and
the daughter of the late French
Jewish pop icon Serge Gainsbourg
(born Lucien Ginz.burg) and his non-
Jewish former wife, British
actress/singer Jane Birkin.
"People used to say that Jews exist
because racists exist," muses Attal,
who was born in Israel to Algerian
parents who moved to France when
he was an infant.
"When we erase all the racism
from the earth, [then} what is it to
be Jewish? For me it's obvious that to
be Jewish is the Torah, even if I'm
not practicing my religion." •

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