Jean Dujardin

By Tony Rizzo
HOLLYWOOD — Be careful what you wish for! Jean Dujardin came off the Oscar campaign trail with the gold and returned to his native France, where he is already a huge star and was greeted by mobs of French fans. But beware the dangers of the public eye.

The first attack came when his new film, “Les Infideles” (“The Unfaithful Ones”), a comedy in which he plays five cheating Frenchmen, opened in France. Completed prior to his Oscar nomination, it had a scene in New York, where he’s seducing a lover in a hotel room as the 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers happens outside the window behind him. Dujardin, also the producer, was advised to cut the scene, and did. If word of the 9/11 attack being used as a backdrop for a philandering comedy scene leaked out, it could have hurt his chances with Academy voters. The French press criticized him for that and called the film “shockingly sexist.”

And we non-French speaking Americans didn’t know that Dujardin apparently dropped what amounts to an “F-bomb” in French at the end of his Oscar acceptance speech. His defense? “It was a bit spontaneous; it just came out like that!”

Hopefully, his next film, a remake of the French classic “One Wild Moment,” with French actor Vincent Cassell (remade in l984 with Michael Caine as “Blame It on Rio”), will be the kind of follow-up to “The Artist” that American audiences expect.
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Meryl Streep’s “Great Hope Springs” film, with Tommy Lee Jones, Jean Smart and Steve Carell, was to have opened Dec. 14, but because of her Oscar win, it now will open Aug. 10. Next up for Streep is the film version of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway play “August: Osage County,” with Julia Roberts playing her daughter.

Christopher Plummer is shooting the HBO film “Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight,” with Frank Langella. It’s not about Ali’s fighting in the ring, but in the public arena when he refused to fight in Vietnam.

Martin Scorsese’s follow-up to the five-time Oscar-winning “Hugo” is “Silence,” with Oscar-winner Daniel Day-Lewis as a Jesuit spreading Christianity in Japan. The sweeping epic also stars “No Country for Old Men” Oscar-winner Benicio Del Toro. Scorsese will then make the long-anticipated Frank Sinatra bio-pic. Al Pacino had been mentioned to play Sinatra, but insiders say Scorsese now is leaning toward Leonardo DiCaprio. May we suggest Michael Buble? Not only is he the heir-apparent to the Sinatra audience, but he’s as good-looking and charming as “Old Blue Eyes” ever was! Sorry Leo, we hate to burst your Buble … uhh, that’s bubble!

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© 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.