Photo: Martin Jernberg

Celebrity Jews: At The Movies & Streaming TV

The Jewish News
Nate Bloom

Nate Bloom

AT THE MOVIES

Michel Hazanavicius
Michel Hazanavicius

Opening May 4: I was hoping that the new French language film Godard Mon Amour would be a charming period comedy. The director, Michel Hazanavicius, 51, showed he could do light comedy with The Artist (2011), a silent pic that won the best picture Oscar. The basis of his new film, Godard Mon Amour, are memoirs written by the late Anne Wiazemsky, who was 19 years old when she married famous French movie director Jean Luc Godard, then 37, in 1967.

The film covers one year (1967-68). We see Godard trying to incorporate the burgeoning radical political movements of the late ’60s into his filmmaking. Godard also touches on how contemporary cultural changes influenced the dynamics of the couple’s marriage. Most reviews said the premise was not at fault — a smart comedy of manners could have been fashioned out of this material. However, leading critics say that the script and the direction miss the mark and the film just doesn’t work as a bio or as a comedy. Hazanavicius is the grandson of Lithuanian Jews who settled in France. His parents, children during the Nazi occupation, survived in hiding.

Ivan and Jason Reitman
Ivan and Jason Reitman

However, advance reviews are pretty good for Tully, a comedy/drama directed by Jason Reitman, 40. The Tully script is by Diablo Cody, who also wrote the acclaimed 2007 film Juno — which Reitman also directed. Charlize Theron plays Margo, a harried mother of three, including a newborn, who is “gifted” a night nanny by her wealthy brother (Mark Duplass). Hesitant at first to accept his extravagance, Margo comes to form a unique bond with her young nanny. More than a nanny, she is the confidante and friend that Margo needed (her husband is a largely absent jerk). Reviews say the early scenes focusing on Margo’s problems are perhaps too grim, but the film takes off with the nanny’s arrival.

Reitman is the son of famous director Ivan Reitman (Ghostbusters), 71, and his wife, French Canadian actress Genévieve Robert, a Jew by choice. Ivan’s parents were Holocaust survivors.

STREAMING

Natasha Leggero and Moshe Kasher
Natasha Leggero and Moshe Kasher

Now streaming is Honeymoon Tour, a Netflix special that stars husband-and-wife stand-up comedians Natasha Leggero, 44, and Moshe Kasher, 38. It’s divided into three, 30-minute parts. Leggero does stand-up alone; Kasher does stand-up alone; and then they amusingly counsel audience couples together. Leggero was about five months pregnant during filming (she gave birth to a girl in February) and much of their stand-up schtick relates to the pregnancy. Leggero and Kasher also talk a lot about her conversion to Judaism, including the 14, four-hour conversion classes that they attended together. Be warned: There is a lot of bawdy or edgy humor.

Lauren Miller Rogen and Seth Rogen
Lauren Miller Rogen and Seth Rogen

Also now streaming on Netflix is Seth Rogen’s Hilarity for Charity. Rogen’s one-hour special combines sketches, stand-up and music. The intent of the special is to raise money for Alzheimer’s research. The big cast includes Nick Kroll, Sarah Silverman, Jeff Goldblum, Ike Barinholtz, Sacha Baron Cohen and Rogen’s wife, Lauren Miller Rogen, 35 — her mother, now 67, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at age 55.

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