Jesse Eisenberg, Patti Stanger and Timothee Chalamet

Nate Bloom blogs on this week's Jews in the News.


Bigfoot Pic, Make Me a Match!, Golden Boy


“Sasquatch Sunset” opens “wide” in theaters on April 19. It is a comedy, with some poignant dramatic moments. It follows four members of a Sasquatch (AKA “Bigfoot”) family during a difficult, year-long journey. All the actors wear heavy Sasquatch costumes.  JESSE EISENBERG, 40, and Riley Keough, 34, are the “main” family members (Keough’s father’s mother was Jewish. Her mother’s father was Elvis Presley).

As I write this, there are about a dozen pre-opening reviews by respected film critics. More than half gave it very good reviews (New Yorker, Variety, the Guardian), while a minority gave it so/so reviews (Hollywood Reporter, others).  

Remember PATTI STANGER, a romance matchmaker? Stanger was the host of “The Millionaire Matchmaker”, a Bravo channel show that became a big hit in 2009. It ran until 2015. Show publicity always mentioned that Stanger’s mother and grandmother were traditional Orthodox Jewish matchmakers.

I guess the CW network is hoping a Stanger “re-boot” can work. Her new show is called “The Matchmaker”. It premiered on April 11 (8PM). 

Stanger now has a partner, Nick Viall, a handsome fellow who was “Bachelor” TV show favorite.  In every episode of the new CW show, Stanger and Viall help two clients find a match.

Remarkably, Stanger remains “marketable” as a matchmaker even though she is 62 and never has been married. She’s the matchmaker who won’t commit.

In January, 2010, the “Jewish Journal” had a long, gushing article about all the preparations for Stanger’s Jewish wedding to ANDY FRIEDMAN, an LA businessman she had dated for seven years(!). He gave her a 4-carat engagement diamond ring and, Stanger said, he was insisting on a 500-person wedding.

In August, 2010, Stanger, then 49, said she broke up with Friedman because she wanted kids and he did not. In 2013, Stanger seemed to offer an alternate reason.  She said that her relationship with Friedman “lacked passion” and they were just “good friends”. After Friedman, Stanger had two fairly long relationships that didn’t end in a wedding.

TIMOTHEE CHALAMET, 28, is now the darling of the entertainment media and, it seems, the darling of Warner Brothers. He just signed a multi-year feature film deal with that studio.  Chalamet will basically be running the show: picking his future projects as a star and, sometimes, as a producer, too.  

His salary was not disclosed, but it looks like he’ll be paid in double digits. This means $10M or more per film. (He was paid $8M for “Dune 2” ). The remarkable box-office performance of two movies that Chalamet starred-in in the last year (Wonka and Dune 2) has led to a shower of praise from showbiz pundits.

Here’s a sampler of that praise: He’s the IT guy; he’s another Leonardo DiCaprio; he’s intelligent and can play any role; his versatility and range bodes well for a long and distinguished career.

Chalamet is now filming “A Complete Unknown”, a bio-pic about BOB DYLAN.  It probably will not be a blockbuster, but, “in-demand” stars like to pivot from “prestige” films (like the Dylan pic) to blockbusters. This jump back-and-forth often helps a career, overall.  

As I have often noted, Chalamet’s mother is an American Jew. His father is a Protestant who was born and raised in France. The actor identifies as Jewish, but isn’t religious.

Years ago, I wrote about the “special nature” of Chalamet’s father’s hometown, Chambon-sur-Lignon (“Chambon”). I also noted that Timothee visited Chambon during his childhood summers.

Despite all the publicity about Timothee Chalamet, no recent article I’ve seen about Chalamet even mentions Chambon and no interviewer, I am aware of, has asked Chalamet about Chambon. Here’s the Chambon story, again, with a nice surprise at the end.  

Chambon is small French town (less than 2,000 people) that is predominately Protestant. France was an officially Catholic country until the French Revolution (1789) and Protestants were persecuted for centuries.

For centuries, the people of Chambon took in persecuted people. During WWII, the people of Chambon saved the lives of 3,000-5,000 Jews. Jews were sheltered-in or near Chambon, or, in some cases, smuggled to Switzerland. Each resident made the decision to help Jews. No one told them what they had to do.

Chambon is one of just two towns to be collectively designated “Righteous Among the Nations” by Yad Vashem.

The last time I wrote about Chambon there wasn’t a good film about Chambon’s “goodness” on Youtube. In the last few years, many have been posted. Simply enter the name of the town in the search bar and you’ll easily find 10 or more good videos on this “righteous town.”


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