Yvan Attal

Yvan Attal

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New York, I Love You Review


Good
There are 11 captivating short films in this anthology, the second in the Cities of Love series by producers Benbihy and Grasic. But this collection isn't quite as varied or engaging as Paris Je T'Aime.

All of these stories take place in Manhattan, with only one or two brief forays into other boroughs, and they all centre around relatively well-off people, mainly white or Asian. They're also quite serious and emotional, with only brief moments of humour dotted here and there, although some make us smile more than others. Each is about a male-female relationship--marriages, brief encounters, possibilities, life-long companionship. Most have a somewhat gimmicky twist, and a few are intriguingly oblique.

Continue reading: New York, I Love You Review

Leaving [Partir] Review


Good
This fascinating drama puts us in the mind of a deeply flawed person and makes us sympathise completely with her. This is no mean feat, especially when she does some seriously irrational things. But Scott Thomas is so good in the role that she really makes us care.

In southern France, Suzanne (Scott Thomas) is a wife and mother who, bored with her bourgeois life, decides to go back to work. But when beefy builder Ivan (Lopez) arrives to work on her home office, she starts flirting with him. This eventually turns into a lusty affair, and she decides to leave her husband Samuel (Attal) and teen children (Vidal and Broom). But exchanging financial stability for passion isn't easy; when money runs short Samuel tries to exploit her need for security. And things get very messy indeed.

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2009 Cannes International Film Festival - Day 12 - 'Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky' - Premiere

Yvan Attal and Charlotte Gainsbourg - Yvan Attal and Charlotte Gainsbourg Cannes, France - 2009 Cannes International Film Festival - Day 12 - 'Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky' - Premiere Sunday 24th May 2009

Yvan Attal and Charlotte Gainsbourg
Yvan Attal and Charlotte Gainsbourg

Rush Hour 3 Review


Terrible
For all the talk of his beguiling cameo as a police chief, Roman Polanski shows up in Rush Hour 3 for exactly two scenes for about two minutes. In fact, the French police have absolutely nothing to do with anything in the third Rush Hour installment. Polanski simply acts as a diacritic; a punctuation mark to let us know we're entering and exiting the French portion of the program. And although they are given more screen time, Ingmar Bergman-regular Max Von Sydow and French actor/director Yvan Attal serve similar purposes: They're garnish on a liver sandwich made with moldy bread and mayonnaise that started going green around the time of the Bay of Pigs.

Rush Hour 3 plunks our questionable partners, the loose-mouthed Carter (Chris Tucker) and elastic Lee (Jackie Chan), into an international scandal involving the Chinese Triad election that takes them from sunny Los Angeles to gay Paris. Lee's friend and employer Consul Hu (Tzi Ma) is about to blow the lid off the Triads when a sniper snags him a few centimeters north of his heart. Hu's friend Vernard (Von Sydow) OKs Lee and Carter's trip to his hometown of Paris, where, for one reason or another, the Chinese Triad have decided to have an election.

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Bon Voyage Review


Grim
Roger Ebert once wrote that he would love to see a behind the scenes look at how a bad movie got made. Though it's certainly not the worst movie of 2004, people might get a kick out of a look at the French drama Bon Voyage and how the cast and crew turned a plot revolving around World War II, nuclear explosives, escaped convicts, and unrequited love into such a lifeless experience.

My nominee for the culprit would be the plot, which is convoluted and plodding. In short, Paris is in flux as the Nazis make their advances in 1940. A spoiled, petulant actress (Isabelle Adjani) travels with her new beau of convenience, the Prime Minister, played by a slim Gérard Depardieu. Meanwhile, her childhood friend (Grégori Derangère) - whom she inadvertently framed for murder - has escaped from jail.

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The Interpreter Review


Weak
Astute moviegoers will recall that this isn't the first time Nicole Kidman has saved the world -- and especially the United Nations -- from destruction. And while 1997's The Peacemaker was a guilty pleasure of high intrigue and adventure, the flaccid The Interpreter doesn't generate half the excitement, kitschy or no.

The contrived setup gives us Nic as one Silvia Broome, a long-time resident of Africa who now makes a living as an interpreter at the UN. The headlines have a hated president from her homeland by the name of Zuwanie who's accused of genocide coming to give a speech to the General Assembly; most observers assume that the speech will save him from being tried for crimes against humanity as he pledges democratic reforms, and so his enemies are -- possibly -- planning to murder him at the podium. Or at least that's what Silvia says, as she overhears a potential plot late one night in her talkin' booth when she returns to the UN to get her "flutes and stuff."

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Portraits Chinois Review


OK
Think of it as French Friends, the movie. A gaggle of Parisians, led by Carter and Bohringer as two fashion designers, experience love, loss, and raucous comedy -- at least when the subtitles are legible. The characters are too difficult to distinguish from one another, as well, and only Carter stands out as any different from her companions. Rather droll, but very Frahnch, oui oui!

My Wife Is An Actress Review


OK
Is it weird when reality and fictional cinema intersect? For example: Kidman and Cruise in Eyes Wide Shut, Basinger and Baldwin in The Getaway, or The Blair Witch Project. Those movies are nothing compared to the abysmally titled My Wife Is an Actress, which totally blurs the line between what is real and what is not and crosses into a strange mélange of melodramatic kookiness and Method acting taken to the nth degree.

The movie is a personal exploration into the limitations and expectations of fidelity. The film is penned and directed by the notable French actor Yvan Attal (The Criminal), who is married to a famous French actress Charlotte Gainsbourg (The Cement Garden), and both star in the film.

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The Interpreter Review


Weak
Layers of riveting intrigue build toward a finale weigheddown with logistical loopholes in "The Interpreter," a politicalthriller about an assassination plot overheard by a translator (NicoleKidman) at the United Nations.

The circumstances of her accidental eavesdropping are alittle suspect as well -- she just happened to be in a sound booth lateat night, where a microphone inexplicably left on just happened to pickup a conspiratorial conversation in a regional dialect she and only a handfulof others speak outside of the fictional African country of her birth.

Couple this with a covered-up past of rebel activity aimedat the dictator she claims will be targeted during an controversial upcomingaddress on the floor of the U.N., and it's no surprise that the SecretService agent assigned to investigate (Sean Penn) finds her revelationto be dubious at best.

Although the milieu is unusual, "The Interpreter"is largely a variation on a standard Hollywood template about a broodingcop assigned to protect a pretty witness. With a less talented cast anda less interesting director than Sydney Pollack ("Havana," "TheFirm"), it could have easily been dumbed down into an action moviecocktail with a romantic chaser.

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My Wife Is An Actress (Ma Femme Est Une Actrice) Review


Weak

In real life, sort-of-famous French actor Yvan Attal is married to very famous French actress Charlotte Gainsbourg, and their fourth film together -- entitled "My Wife Is an Actress" -- is a belly-button-gazing comedy that explores and exaggerates Attal's own neuroses about being married to a big star.

Attal writes, directs and plays a sports journalist -- also named Yvan -- who has been very happily married to a famous actress -- named Charlotte, played by Gainsbourg -- for a couple years. But he's beginning to go a touch crazy with jealousy over having to share her with the world. It's bad enough being interrupted by autograph hounds every time they go out and dealing with strangers who accost him about his feelings regarding his wife's nude scenes. Now every nagging doubt he's had is boiling to the surface because of Charlotte's lady-killing cad of a co-star (Terrence Stamp) in her latest film -- a romantic drama with a major sex scene.

Percolating with potential, "My Wife" has inspired moments of behind-the-scenes wit, and Attal effectively taps into his character's (or is it his own?) psyche as Yvan's paranoia brings out the worst in him. But as the plot advances and the husband-wife relationship becomes strained, the comedy becomes dependent on extremes of emotional immaturity in these two characters, which only serves to make them annoying. (And what's with the random subplot about Yvan's sister arguing with her husband over circumcising their as yet unborn son?)

Continue reading: My Wife Is An Actress (Ma Femme Est Une Actrice) Review

Yvan Attal

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