On the Town with Shinan: Joseph Gordon-Levitt en francais

By Shinan Govani

The burning question you never knew you had, I am here to answer for you: who speaks better, more mellifluous French, Bradley Cooper or Joseph Gordon-Levitt?

My expert witnesses give the lead to the latter. And the star has been in it to win it this particular summer, if his showing in Montreal the other night was any indication.

The 3rd Rock from the Sun veteran, is the young leading man who’s been known to dream in French, ache in French and even contend that French women just do it for him. And though Bradley’s French is rien to sneeze at – he was once an exchange student in Aix-en-Provence and holds his own in French interviews – Joseph’s fluency is one of a complete Francophile, who studied French at Colombia University. As he once told the New York Times about that juncture in his life: "I gave up acting and became interested in all things French. French poetry, French history, French literature."

Fast-forward to the summer of 2014, and there was the (500) Days of Summer stud pulling of not just French, but French in song, at Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier in Quebec’s biggest city. The occasion: a Just for Laughs Festival gala devoted to the hijinks of Seth Rogen. The movie star guest drop-in: Joseph, indeed, swooping onto the stage with a guitar, and ready to croon a classic Jacques Brel song. The rendition was "perfect, according to Montreal’s Gazette newspaper.

His vowels are excellent, say my sources. So, then…how about a movie in French? I’m told that Joseph was has been nudged to do that while he’s been in Montreal (where he’s been shooting the Robert Zemeckis flick The Walk, by the way). The actor says he’s into it. Watch this space.


One of the bigger curiosities heading to Toronto for the film festival next month: a movie titled The Face of An Angel, which happens to boast Cara Delevingne in its cast. Having made her name on the catwalk, and having climbed to the ranks of London’s top It Girl, the beauty has had a few small movie roles (in projects like Joe Wright’s Anna Karenina), but this is said to be her biggest part yet.

The movie, directed by Michael Winterbottom, is ostensibly about the Amanda Knox murder case (though Cara does not play the character based on Amanda). While the model has previously called her foray into film a “hobby,” I think she was being self-deprecating, because for a hobby, she’s certainly been going for it, with several other movies in the can, including an adaptation of Martin Amis’ famed early novel London Fields.

In the storied history of models-turned-actors, the transition to film doesn’t always succeed. Then again, stars like Cameron Diaz and Uma Thurman made the jump look effortless. I’ll be keeping my eye out on Cara!


The marketing for the party sure doesn’t employ any false modesty: the LeBron James soiree, happening over Caribana weekend in Toronto, is dubbed “The Return of the King.” And its invite flaunts the NBA star in a ready-to-go-to-the-Oscars tux. Will he actually be donning a tuxedo when he shows up at Maison Mercer on Saturday? Wait. See.

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