At the movies, on TV
“My Old Lady,” which opens Sept. 12 in Bay Area theaters, is the directorial debut of playwright-screenwriter Israel Horovitz, 75. In the film, a down-and-out Jewish New Yorker inherits an apartment in Paris from his estranged father and is stunned to find a refined old lady living there with her protective daughter. The movie features Maggie Smith, Kevin Kline and Kristin Scott Thomas.
“The Last of Robin Hood,” opening on Friday, Sept. 5 in San Francisco and Berkeley, tells the story of the swashbuckling actor Errol Flynn’s affair, in the last year of his life, with aspiring actress Beverly Aadland (Dakota Fanning). Kevin Kline, 66, is aptly cast as Flynn, who died in 1959, age 50, of a heart attack. Flynn by that point was, as one commentator said, “a parody of himself with heavy alcohol use leaving him prematurely aged.” The film was co-written and co-directed by Richard Glatzer, 50, and his professional and life partner, Wash West.
The Esquire cable channel, which can be seen in the Bay Area on AT&T cable and on Directv or Dish satellite, has a new talk show called “My Friends Call Me Johnny.” It’s hosted by Jean “Johnny” Pigozzi, a rich Italian guy. We are told he will travel the globe to ask celebs tough questions. The premiere episode already aired, but you can catch a repeat on Monday, Sept. 8 at 1 a.m. (DVR it). The two guests are Hebrews with a bad-boy reputation: fashion designer Dov Charney, 45, and director Brett Ratner, 45. The Sept. 11 show features Michael Douglas, 69, and chef Mario Batali (whose wife is Jewish). Future interviewees include Calvin Klein, 71, Jann Wenner, 68, and Lorne Michaels, 69.
The fifth and final season of HBO’s hit show “Boardwalk Empire” premieres on Sunday, Sept. 7. TV Guide recently caught up with Sandra Lansky Lombardo, 76, the daughter of gangster Meyer Lansky, who is a big “Boardwalk” character. She is unhappy with the way her father is depicted and contends her father didn’t deal drugs and that “personality-wise,” the character is unrecognizable to her. She said, “I got sick watching it. It was so much fiction. They should’ve done what they did with Nucky Johnson and changed his name.”
Celebs for Israel
A couple of hundred Hollywood notables signed a petition that, while expressing their hope for peace, condemned the anti-Semitic ideology of Hamas and its rocket attacks. It is posted on CreativeCommunityForPeace.com. Signatories include Emmy winner Sarah Silverman, 43, Tom Arnold, 55, Mayim Bialik, 38, Josh Charles, 42, Jami Gertz, 48, Bill Maher, Sylvester Stallone and Seth Rogen, 32.
World Cup notes
I didn’t tell you about Jewish players at the recent World Cup because information was scarce. Recently I learned that American team member Kyle Beckerman, 32, was identified as Jewish in a couple of sources. However, while his father is Jewish, he did declare himself a Christian in order to marry his wife in a 2009 Greek Orthodox Church ceremony. Then, last week, I followed a lead and found out that DeAndre Yedlin, 21, a defender on the American team who saw action in two World Cup Games, is Jewish. Born and raised in the Seattle area, he most recently played for the Sounders professional team and recently signed with a top British team. His mother, Rebecca, now a college sports instructor, had him when she was very young and he was raised by his maternal grandfather, Ira Nathan Yedlin. DeAndre is now “very close” to his mother. His father has never been part of his life.
Columnist Nate Bloom, an Oaklander, can be reached at email@example.com.