"The filmmakers have spent their energy on their centerpiece surprise."

MY WIFE IS AN ACTRESS

An Illusion review by Joan Ellis


            “My Wife is an Actress” is the delicious chronicle of the marriage between Charlotte (Charlotte Gainsbourg), a revered French actress and Yvan (Yvan Attal),her sportswriter husband.  She has only to speak once to open all doors; he plods through life dealing with the mechanics of living just as the rest of us do. 

            On the night before Charlotte leaves for London to make a movie with John, (Terence Stamp) an older British actor, Yvan’s patience is frayed.  The constant public recognition of his wife escalates when an acquaintance asks how he can stand watching his wife make love to other men.  The truth is, he can’t. 

So he hops the fast train to London where he steps unwittingly into a high spirited scene that is a first for a commercial movie.  Ms. Gainsbourg’s essentially shy Charlotte to the situation is a terrific mixture of shock and acceptance.  The initial surprise of the audience turns to appreciative laughter as the scene unfolds.

Ms. Gainsbourg has the relaxed confidence of the accomplished star she plays.  The easy chemistry between Gainsbourg and Attal, who are husband and wife off screen, makes the film flow well.  If it flows a little too long after a while, it may be because the filmmakers have spent their energy on their centerpiece surprise and probably just ran out of steam.


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