Jews in the News: Debra Winger, Sheryl Sandberg and Julianne Margulies

At the Movies: Opens Friday, May 5

“The Lovers” stars DEBRA WINGER, 61, and Tracy Letts as a long-married couple who are both in the midst of open, serious affairs and are increasingly committed to their new partners. But, just as they are on the brink of ending their marriage, a spark between them unexpectedly reignites their long dormant romantic coupling. Is this a new start for their marriage or a coda on it? How will they manage “cheating” on their new partners?

“Lovers” was written and directed by AZAZEL JACOBS, 44. I’ve long followed his career because I took two college courses taught by his father, acclaimed “non-narrative” filmmaker KEN JACOBS, 83.  Azazel has been making feature films since 2003 that haven’t played in many theaters (including the critical hit, “Terri,” in 2011). However, very good reviews for “Lovers” at the last Toronto Film Festival led a company to finance a big national opening for this film.

“Variety” says it’s a “comedy of barbed humanity” and that Jacobs is: “A filmmaker with a gift for showing people at their most nakedly desperate and spiritually disheveled and getting you to see yourself in them.” “Variety” also said that Jacobs wrote a great part for Winger and she made the most of it: “Winger has never toned herself down the way she does here, yet her radiance shines through; it’s become the expression of an ordinary woman’s fuddy-duddy desperation, and maybe her last true lunge at life.”

Check Out Sandberg Interview/Book

I’ve rarely been as moved as I was watching Facebook CEO SHERYL SANDBERG, 47, discuss the death of her husband, tech entrepreneur DAVE GOLDBERG, on CBS Sunday Morning (aired April 23; available on CBS News site). Goldberg, 48, died in 2015 of a sudden cardiac arrhythmia.

Sandberg told CBS journalist Nora Dunn: “Dave was my rock, Dave was my best friend before we dated and then got married [2004] and then had 2 amazing children. He was the one who always told me everything would be OK. And then it wasn’t OK. “

Sandberg is famous for her 2013 advice book for women in business, “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead.” She told Dunn that Dave’s death “sucked” and then related advice her rabbi gave her. The rabbi said, “Lean into the suck. “ Sanberg then told Dunn: “It was really good advice because he was telling me this [Dave’s death and the aftermath] was going to suck so don’t fight it.”

Sandberg then detailed some coping strategies she and her children employed and how that led to her new book, “Option B:  Facing Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy.” The term “option B” was coined by ADAM GRANT, 35, the co-author of Sandberg’s new book. When Sandberg complained about a father/daughter event that Dave wasn’t alive to attend---Grant told her they would find an “option B” and work the sh-t out of it.”

Grant, who has a doctorate in organizational psychology, wrote articles with Sandberg before her husband’s death, so it’s natural that she would turn to him, a friend, for advice. He’s the youngest person to become a tenured faculty member at the famous Wharton School of Finance (where he always tops the faculty ratings) and he’s authored two best selling books.

Margulies on Terror and Survival

Actress JULIANNE MARGULIES, 50, talked to the French news service, AFP, on April 21 and revealed that she was near the site of the terrorist killing of a police officer (April 20) in Paris.  She said: “I was there just behind the shooting in a car when everything stopped and we just waited…We must not give in…otherwise it is the terrorists who win…the terrorists do not measure our capacity for resistance.”

She also told AFP that this July she’ll be filming a movie in which she plays a Syrian Jewish woman from Brooklyn who’s fighting breast cancer.  Other sources provide details: the film is “The Girl with Pink Hair;” Margulies’ character is Orthodox; and her character shares her fight with teenage friend who also has breast cancer. The director is SUSAN SEIDELMAN, 64 (“Desperately Seeking Susan”)

Margulies ended her AFP interview by explaining why she declined to be in “The Good Wife” sequel, “The Good Fight.” She said: “I had to say goodbye to [“Good Wife” lead character] Alicia Florrick…Alicia doesn't wear her emotions on her sleeves the way I do. I am an actress and a Jewish woman... very opinionated and emotional.”  (The last line, the AFP noted, Margulies said with a laugh in her voice).


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