The Shmooze

A Minyan Of Jews Shines on Oscar Night

By Michael Kaminer

  • Print
  • Share Share
Getty Images

Jews behind the camera, and one who works in front of it, scored big at last night’s 83rd annual Academy Awards. As widely expected, Israeli-born thesp Natalie Portman nabbed the Best Actress honor for her mad-ballerina shtick in “Black Swan.” Backstage, the with-child Portman told reporters, “[Pregnancy] has sort of been a protection against all of the hoopla, and the part that keeps you centered,” Entertainment Weekly reported. While “Swan” director Darren Aronofsky lost to “The King’s Speech” helmer Tom Hooper, the latter picture turned out to be a prize-getter for the Tribe. Screenwriter David Seidler, a stutterer whose grandparents died in the Holocaust, won for Best Screenplay; Emile Sherman, an Australian Jew, was one of three producers who accepted the Best Picture award for “Speech.” The Best Adapted Screenplay nod went to Aaron Sorkin for “The Social Network”; the Hollywood veteran told CBS News he’d “barely” heard of Facebook before the film, and closed his account once the movie wrapped.

Danish-Jewish director Suzanne Bier, the daughter of Holocaust refugees, scored a Best Foreign Language Film statuette for Kenya-set melodrama “In a Better World.” In the hotly contested Sound Mixing category, Lora Hirschberg was one of three honorees for “Inception.” Rounding out the Semitic successes, JTA reported that director-writer Lee Unkrich accepted the award for his animated feature “Toy Story 3,” and composer Randy Newman added another Oscar for his song “We Belong Together” from the same film. And while Israeli films didn’t fare well – none made the cut for Best Foreign Film this year — filmmakers Kirk Simon and Karen Goodman took home the Best Short Documentary prize for “Strangers No More,” about an Israeli school struggling to integrate immigrants.

“The 10 Jewish Oscar winners’ ranks were augmented by an array of Oscar presenters, including Kirk Douglas, Scarlett Johansson, Billy Crystal and Steven Spielberg,” JTA reported. And, said JTA, “co-host James Franco added another heimishe note by introducing his beaming Jewish mother and grandmother, both sitting in the audience.”


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Strangers No More, We Belong Together, Natalie Portman, Kirk Simon, Karen Goodman, Black Swan, Academy Award

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • Are Michelangelo's paintings anti-Semitic? Meet the Jews of the Sistine Chapel: http://jd.fo/i4UDl
  • What does the Israel-Hamas war look like through Haredi eyes?
  • Was Israel really shocked to find there are networks of tunnels under Gaza?
  • “Going to Berlin, I had a sense of something waiting there for me. I was searching for something and felt I could unlock it by walking the streets where my grandfather walked and where my father grew up.”
  • How can 3 contradictory theories of Yiddish co-exist? Share this with Yiddish lovers!
  • "We must answer truthfully: Has a drop of all this bloodshed really helped bring us to a better place?”
  • "There are two roads. We have repeatedly taken the one more traveled, and that has made all the difference." Dahlia Scheindlin looks at the roots of Israel's conflict with Gaza.
  • Shalom, Cooperstown! Cooperstown Jewish mayor Jeff Katz and Jeff Idelson, director of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, work together to oversee induction weekend.
  • A boost for morale, if not morals.
  • Mixed marriages in Israel are tough in times of peace. So, how do you maintain a family bubble in the midst of war? http://jd.fo/f4VeG
  • Despite the escalating violence in Israel, more and more Jews are leaving their homes in Alaska to make aliyah: http://jd.fo/g4SIa
  • The Workmen's Circle is hosting New York’s first Jewish street fair on Sunday. Bring on the nouveau deli!
  • Novelist Sayed Kashua finds it hard to write about the heartbreak of Gaza from the plush confines of Debra Winger's Manhattan pad. Tough to argue with that, whichever side of the conflict you are on.
  • "I’ve never bought illegal drugs, but I imagine a small-time drug deal to feel a bit like buying hummus underground in Brooklyn."
  • We try to show things that get less exposed to the public here. We don’t look to document things that are nice or that people would like. We don’t try to show this place as a beautiful place.”
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.