All in all, it was a decent night for the Tribe at the 87th Academy Awards.
Among the high notes:
IDINA’S REVENGE: Last year, John Travolta botched the name of Idina Menzel our second-favorite Jewish diva (after Barbra). This year Adele Dazeem got her revenge as the two collaborated to present best song to Glory. “Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to the stage my very dear friend, Glom Gazingo,” Menzel said in what was the funniest bit of the night.
TRIUMPH OF ‘IDA’: The black-and-white drama, a story about what happens when a woman about to take her vows as a Catholic nun finds out she’s really an Old Testament gal, won best foreign-language flick. And director Pawel Pawlikowski took home the informal category of best acceptance speech as he refused to be rushed off the stage by Oscar’s orchestra. He talked over them with a hilarious bit of extra thank-you’s, shutting the exit guides down.
SCARLETT’S TWO-FER: The talented Jewish beauty introduced the event that saved the night: Gaga singing The Sound of Music. And then there was the “if-looks-could-kill” moment earlier on the red carpet, where she all but rolled her eyes when Travolta snuck up behind her and stole a kiss.
(JTA) — Jewish artists and themes featured among the winners at the 87th Academy Awards in Hollywood Sunday night, but the star-studded night was marred when the show overlooked the death Joan Rivers.
The evening’s “In Memoriam” segment, devoted to film industry notables who have passed away over the past year, included, among others, Israeli filmmaker Menachem Golan, director Mike Nichols, and legendary film actress Lauren Bacall. A number of writers and people on Twitter were outraged that Rivers, a perennial red-carpet favorite, was not mentioned.
The Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film went to “Ida,” a Polish film about a Catholic novitiate who learns she is the daughter of Jewish parents killed by the Nazis.
But Israel’s losing streak at the Oscars continued, as the short film “Aya,” co-written and co-directed by Mihal Brezis and Oded Binnun and starring Sarah Adler, failed to win for Best Short Film.
The director of “Ida,” Pawel Pawlikowski, whose paternal grandmother was Jewish and died in Auschwitz, was asked during a backstage interview whether he considers the Holocaust and the fate of the Jewish people one aspect of post-World War II Poland. Pawlikowski, in his response, tried to shift the emphasis.
When he’s not watching “Downton Abbey” with Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks keeps busy by pranking future generations.
The comedian finally cemented his Hollywood legacy on Monday afternoon during the Hollywood Cement Ceremony outside Mann’s Chinese Theater (“Blazing Saddles!”). The event also marked the 40th anniversary of “Young Frankenstein.” Dressed as only Mel Brooks can be, in a white suit and floral tie, the 88-year-old wore a prosthetic finger on his left hand, proving that life imitates art.
Basically, 100 years from now, people will walk by and remark: “Wow, there’s Mel Brooks. He had 11 fingers, you know.” Genius Mel. Genius.
Brooks later tweeted about the event:
I desperately need to wash my hands. pic.twitter.com/fKVl4FyMFt— Mel Brooks (@MelBrooks) September 8, 2014
Mazel tov, Mel! Keep the laughs coming.
Robin Williams was my childhood. From “Mrs. Doubtfire” to “Hook,” to “Aladdin,” to “Jumanji,” I can’t even keep track of all the moments of glee and laughter that he bestowed on countless of fans. Since hearing about his apparent suicide at the age of 63 last night, I still catch myself remembering snippets of dialogue, fleeting scenes that cause a rush of warm memories.
And I’m far from alone. It’s been extremely moving to read the rush of tributes and responses to Williams. Here are some of the best from Jewish celebrities whose lives — like mine, and so many others — he touched:
One of all time greatest. Will be missed. ;( http://t.co/HzgBrdlWsH— ADAM LAMBERT (@adamlambert) August 12, 2014
I wish Robin peace from whatever unrest raged within him and much more than gratitude for all the joy he gave us and leaves behind.— Carrie Fisher (@carrieffisher) August 12, 2014
Devastating news about @robinwilliams — knew him a little and liked him a whole lot more. A brain wired like no other and so so kind.— Stephen Fry (@stephenfry) August 12, 2014
Found out on set & watching old clips now before bed. Robin. I've always laughed with you, been inspired by you & will miss you dearly…— Dianna Agron (@DiannaAgron) August 12, 2014
No words.— Billy Crystal (@BillyCrystal) August 12, 2014
#RobinWilliams was simply the World's most beloved comedian since Chaplin.— Rob Schneider (@RobSchneider) August 12, 2014
(JTA) — First, there were the celebrity tweeter and deleters.
As the Israel-Gaza conflict continues to spark a proxy war on Twitter and other social media, numerous celebrities are getting themselves caught in the crossfire.
Earlier this week, both singer Rihanna and basketball player Dwight Howard alienated partisans on both sides by tweeting the #FreePalestine hashtag — and then deleting it.
Then former Justin Bieber paramour Selena Gomez decided to get all political and post a “Pray For Gaza” photo on her Instagram feed.
Fans got upset, so she posted a photo of herself meditating on the beach with the caption: “And of course to be clear, I am not picking any sides. I am praying for peace and humanity for all!”
Now comedian Bill Maher is irking feminists (and, presumably, Hamas supporters) with the following post:
Dealing w/ Hamas is like dealing w/ a crazy woman who's trying to kill u - u can only hold her wrists so long before you have to slap her— Bill Maher (@billmaher) July 18, 2014
Jezebel took issue with the “crazy woman” analogy: “Making a joke about hitting a woman to make a point about a country where people are being killed is just gross.”
(Reuters) — Gary Oldman made comments about Mel Gibson, Alec Baldwin and Nancy Pelosi in an interview that sparked headlines, but his manager insisted the actor was giving a “flamboyant monologue on political correctness and demonstrates the absurd by being absurd.”
In the interview published in Playboy magazine on Monday, the 56-year-old British actor said it would be hypocritical for people to castigate Gibson for his 2006 anti-Semitic diatribe while being arrested for drunken driving because “we’ve all said those things.”
“Mel Gibson is in a town that’s run by Jews, and he said the wrong thing because he’s actually bitten the hand that I guess has fed him - and doesn’t need to feed him anymore because he’s got enough dough,” Oldman said. “He’s like an outcast, a leper, you know?”
Between James Deen’s mainstream debut alongside Lindsay Lohan in the indie-noir film “The Canyons” and the upcoming biopic “Lovelace” (based on “Deep Throat” star Linda Lovelace) it seems everyone’s talking about porn.
Plenty of porn stars have tried to shed their taboo image for a more squeaky-clean Hollywood career. But in an interview with Vulture, James Deen reveals that he doesn’t think now’s the time for him to make the jump.
“I’m the assist, so I could be the most famous person in the world and it wouldn’t matter that much,” the Jewish X-rated star told Vulture’s Kyle Buchanan. “Let’s look at sex tapes: Colin Farrell is a good-looking guy, a big celebrity, you’d think his sex tape would do really well. Octomom’s porno sold better than Colin Farrell’s. And it’s just because guys in adult film are the assist, not the star. So, you have this situation where I can be famous all day long, but if I can’t show up and deliver a good scene, no one’s gonna hire me.”
Also, he loves his day job.
“My job’s not a real job,” he added in the interview. “I mean, it’s a real job in the sense that you have to show up on time, you can’t come drunk, you have to do a good job, be professional, and stuff. But it’s not a real job in the sense that my day at work is still a pretty good day. So, you know, it’s not the kind of thing that I have any desire to take time off from.”
For more, check out the full interview here.
Gwyneth Paltrow’s days as Hollywood darling seem to be long gone. The actress, who has been outspoken in her views on healthy living (and criticism of what she sees as everyone else’s bad habits), came in first in Star magazine’s annual poll of most irritating and annoying celebrities in film, television, and music.
“Twilight“‘s Kristen Stewart, notorious for cheating on co-star and boyfriend Robert Pattinson in July, came in second, with Jennifer Lopez, John Mayer, and Katherine Heigl trailing in third, fourth and fifth place.
Paltrow even beat Anne Hathaway, called-out for being too perfect in the aftermath of her “Les Miserables” Oscar win in February.
Rapper Chris Brown, under mass criticism this year for rekindling his relationship with Rihanna — whom he beat up in 2009 — starting a fight with Drake, and his general stance towards women, came in last on the list.
Apparently being a snooty health nut is a bigger crime than being a violent wife-beater. Click here for the full list.
According to the New York Post’s Page Six, Harvey Weinstein is a daddy once again. Wife Georgina Chapman reportedly gave birth to a little boy on Thursday in New York.
The film producer and studio executive has four daughters, one with Chapman, and three from a previous marriage.
In December, after he announced that Chapman was pregnant, Weinstein joked to Page Six: “We don’t know the sex. It could be Harvey and five daughters. I’d be happy either way.”
At least now he has an ally in the house.
J.J. Abrams, co-creator of the hit television series “Lost” and one of Hollywood’s top producer-directors of supernatural films and TV shows, will receive the Norman Lear Achievement Award in Television, the Producers Guild of America said on Monday.
Abrams, whose current credits include TV shows “Fringe,” “Revolution” and “Person of Interest,” and the 2009 film “Star Trek,” will receive the award at a Beverly Hills ceremony in January.
“J.J. Abrams has produced some of the most iconic and highest-rated television shows of the past decade and longer, series that have changed the landscape of television,” Producers Guild Awards Chairman Michael DeLuca said in a statement.
Investigators say Hollywood heavy-hitter Harvey Weinstein was one of several targets of death threats and extortion attempts from an aspiring actor, the New York Post reports.
Federal agents arrested 25-year-old West Hollywood resident Vivek Shah on Aug. 10 at his parents’ home in Schaumburg, Ill., on the charge of sending threatening interstate communications to the movie mogul and four other business magnates around the country.
According to an August 10 affidavit, Weinstein, identified only as a “Connecticut resident and co-founder of a film studio,” received letters earlier this summer that “contained a threat to kill named members of the recipient’s family unless a large sum of money was wired to an offshore bank account.”
Other alleged victims included Eric Lefkofsky, co-founder of Groupon, and Florida oil exec Terry Pegula, co-owner of the Buffalo Sabres.
Rachel Dratch just isn’t pretty enough.
That is why, she writes in her new memoir, “Girl Walks Into A Bar,” she hasn’t made it big in films or on television post-SNL.
“I am offered solely the parts that I like to refer to as The Unf-ckables. In reality, if you saw me walking down the street, you wouldn’t point at me and recoil and throw up and hide behind a shrub,” she writes. “But by Hollywood standards, I’m a troll, ogre, woodland creature, or manly lesbian. … Trolls, ogres, and woodland creatures can be done with CGI, so that leaves yours truly to play the bull dykes.”
When Jason Alexander, the veteran actor from the 1990’s hit TV series “Seinfeld,” met Shimon Peres at the Beverly Hilton Hotel Thursday night, it was, at first, as though he were channeling his old character, George Constanza.
“Happy Purim!” he exclaimed, immediately launching into a comedy routine. Then, commenting on the heavy security on the way in, he said, “I had to give them the names of my rabbi, my cantor—and my moyle…”
It was the last leg of Peres’ visit to the U.S., and for a moment the gathering, organized by the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and the Israeli Consulate, seemed headed in the direction of yet another Hollywood roast. But Alexander quickly turned serious, paying tribute to the 88-year-old Israeli president by citing the Nobel Prize winner’s oft quoted motto: “Pessimists and optimists die the exact same death but they live very different lives.”
One pessimist in the crowd told the Forward earlier in the evening that she was not entirely an admirer of Peres, whose efforts resulting in the Oslo Peace Accord earned him his Nobel award.
Jews don’t run Hollywood, but it turns out an Israeli controls the Golden Globes — much to the dissatisfaction of some inside the entertainment industry.
Judith Solomon, a writer for Israeli magazine Women’s World, has earned a long list of Hollywood enemies as the person responsible for seating at the pre-Oscars award ceremony.
A new profile reports that Solomon caused a “mini world war” last year when she decreed that agents and managers couldn’t sit in “the pit,” the high-visibility area closest to the Golden Globes stage.
Though there was never an official reaction from the government of Kazakhstan, it’s a good bet that the 2006 film “Borat” did not earn applause from citizens of the Central Asian nation for its portrayal of them as Jew-hating, incest-practicing, homophobic and — worst of all — “Baywatch”-obsessed.
But four years after the massively successful release of Sacha Baron Cohen’s offbeat comedy, a Kazakhstani filmmaker wants to set the record straight. The French news agency Agence France-Presse reported August 7 that Kazakh director Erkin Rakishev will soon start shooting “My Brother, Borat,” an unauthorized sequel to Baron Cohen’s mockumentary. Rakishev, according to AFP, told the Kazakh tabloid Kazakhstanskaya Pravda that “we want to ride on the wave of success of ‘Borat,’ to take advantage of this popular image in the West to show people the real Kazakhstan, not Baron Cohen’s Kazakhstan.”
Who’s Jewish? According to Google (and Gawker ) nearly everyone in Hollywood, from Meryl Streep to Morgan Freeman, and even Mel Gibson. Well, sort of.
A post late Tuesday on media news and gossip Web site Gawker revealed that the top search suggestions on Google for various celebrity names (when preceded by the word is) include the word Jewish. For example, if you type the words “Is David Beckham” into the search bar, a drop-down menu will appear with several options, the first of which is “Is David Beckham Jewish.”
It’s the top ranked search for Robin Williams, Sarah Jessica Parker, Daniel Radcliffe, Ben Affleck and Bill Gates.
And it’s not just celebs. Type in “Is Al Gore” and you will get suggestions including “an idiot, Jewish, a hypocrite.” (Yes, in that order!)
Go ahead. Try it with your favorite celebrities. Let us know what you find. (You know you want to.)