The Shmooze

Jews Sweep Academy Award Nominations

By Michael Kaminer

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Nominations for the 83rd annual Academy Awards, announced this morning, were good for the Jews.

Shoo-ins Natalie Portman (“Black Swan”) and Jesse Eisenberg (“The Social Network”) got Best Actress and Actor nods, respectively. James Franco, whose mother is Jewish, also scored a Best Actor nod for his role in “127 Hours.”

“Black Swan” director Darren Aronofsky earned a Best Director nomination, along with “True Grit” helmers Joel and Ethan Coen. “The Fighter” director David O. Russell, son of a Jewish father and Italian-American mother, also got a Best Director nomination.

Jews also ruled the screenwriting categories. Debra Granik scored a nod in the Best Adapted Screenplay category for the brutal “Winter’s Bone,” while Hollywood vet Aaron Sorkin earned his for Facebook docudrama “The Social Network,” as did fellow A-lister Scott Silver for scrappy Boston epic “The Fighter.” In the same category, the Coen Brothers won the Academy’s attention for their highly acclaimed adaptation of Charles Portis’ 1968 novel “True Grit.” British improv-drama icon Mike Leigh was nominated in the Best Original Screenplay category for “Another Year,” his sobering look at happiness — and the lack thereof — among the British chattering classes. And British-born, Long Island-raised David Seidler got his first Oscar nomination — in the Original Screenplay slot — for “The King’s Speech”.

Semites didn’t fare as well in the Best Supporting Actor or Actress categories, though 14-year-old Hailee Steinfeld — reportedly the daughter of a Jewish dad and black/Filipino mom — got a nod for her widely lauded turn as vengeful tween Mattie Ross in “True Grit.”

Stay tuned to the Forward for more news about Jewish nominees — and winners — as the Oscars approach on February 27.


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