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!
  • Israelis are taking up the #IceBucketChallenge — with hummus.
  • In WWI, Jews fought for Britain. So why were they treated as outsiders?
  • According to a new poll, 75% of Israeli Jews oppose intermarriage.
  • Will Lubavitcher Rabbi Moshe Wiener be the next Met Council CEO?
  • Angelina Jolie changed everything — but not just for the better:
  • Prime Suspect? Prime Minister.
  • Move over Dr. Ruth — there’s a (not-so) new sassy Jewish sex-therapist in town. Her name is Shirley Zussman — and just turned 100 years old.
  • From kosher wine to Ecstasy, presenting some of our best bootlegs:
  • Sara Kramer is not the first New Yorker to feel the alluring pull of the West Coast — but she might be the first heading there with Turkish Urfa pepper and za’atar in her suitcase.
  • About 1 in 40 American Jews will get pancreatic cancer (Ruth Bader Ginsberg is one of the few survivors).
  • At which grade level should classroom discussions include topics like the death of civilians kidnapping of young Israelis and sirens warning of incoming rockets?
  • Wanted: Met Council CEO.
  • “Look, on the one hand, I understand him,” says Rivka Ben-Pazi, a niece of Elchanan Hameiri, the boy that Henk Zanoli saved. “He had a family tragedy.” But on the other hand, she said, “I think he was wrong.” What do you think?
  • How about a side of Hitler with your spaghetti?
  • Why "Be fruitful and multiply" isn't as simple as it seems:
  • 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.