CULTURE

A Daniel Auteuil diary date

It’s not hard to imagine Daniel Auteuil in the role of Arnolphe, the 42-year-old misogynist supreme and lead character in Moliere’s «L’Ecole de femmes» (The School for Wives). Nor is it surprising that the French actor has, once again, been the recipient of rave reviews in the French press in its entirety. Over the last two decades, the 59-year-old actor has been at the height of his game, both on the stage and the screen – always in a quiet, nonarrogant way. With a gift for transformation, Auteuil seems to successfully slip into every character he is called on to interpret. In doing so, he acts with seriousness, confidence, simplicity and authenticity. His charm and allure are also a fact. In a poll conducted for Paris Match magazine in 1990, Auteuil was voted France’s second most popular actor, right after Alain Delon and ahead of Jean-Paul Belmondo, Philippe Noiret and Gerard Depardieu. In the ensuing years, Auteuil has added countless appearances on stage and film to his curriculum vitae. In the theater, he has close ties to playwrights such as Moliere and Marivaux, while Patrice Chereau, Patrice Leconte and Claude Sautet are among the directors he has worked with in the creation of memorable characters on film. The French actor is coming to Athens on February 11 and 12, a guest of the Attiki Cultural Society and Ellinika Theamata, to star in «The School for Wives» at the city’s Pallas Theater. The play is a Theatre de l’Odeon production that was presented in Paris last year. In the play, Auteuil moves between the tragic and the grotesque, while his talent for the comic is comparable to that of Charlie Chaplin or Buster Keaton. As for Jean-Pierre Vincent’s direction of the play, the Nouvel Observateur magazine defined it as «landmark.» Besides Auteuil, the cast includes Jean-Jacques Blanc, Bernard Bloch, Michele Goddet, Pierre Gondard, Charlie Nelson, Lyn Thibault and Stephane Varupenne. Tickets are available at the Pallas Theater (5 Voukourestiou, Citylink, tel 210.321.3100), FNAC and Public. For online reservations, go to www.ellthea.gr.