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January 25, 2011

Coens’ ‘Grit’ at top of Oscar list, with a king and a social networker

http://www.jewishjournal.com/oscars/article/oscars_jewish_nominees_israel_does_not_make_the_cut_20110125

[UPDATE 1/27/11 - 1:20pm] Not accustomed to getting up at an early hour to report on the Jewish Oscar nominees, this reporter omitted a number of deserving filmmakers and actors in the original story. Following is the (hopefully) complete list:

With “The King’s Speech” garnering 12 nods, royalty led the Oscar nomination parade, but Jewish contenders were well represented among the nobility.

Three of the best picture nominations were produced by Jewish honchos, “The Social Network” by Scott Rudin, “True Grit” by Ethan and Joel Coen with Rudin, and “The Black Swan” by Mike Medavoy.

Jesse Eisenberg got a best actor nomination, portraying Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in “Social Network,” which received eight nods. James Franco, whose mother is Jewish, made the cut for his starring role in “127 Hours.”

Golden Globe winner Natalie Portman, born in Israel, was a best actress pick for he role as a tortured ballerina in “Black Swan.”

With a bit of a stretch, we can include among best supporting actresses Hailee Steinfeld (Jewish father) as the 14-year old heroine of “True Grit” (which received 10 noms) and Helena Bonham Carter (Jewish grandmother and half-Jewish grandfather on the maternal side) as George VI’s strong-willed wife in “King’s Speech.”

The best director category included the Coen brothers for “True Grit,” Darren Aronofsky for “Black Swan” and David O. Russell (Jewish father) for “The Fighter.”

Among foreign-language films, Israel’s entry,  “The Human Resources Manager,” was eliminated early on, but Susanne Bier, the outspokenly Jewish director, won a nod for Denmark’s “In a Better World.”

Israel’s pride received some balm with the nomination of the short documentary “Strangers No More,” which is set in Tel Aviv’s Bialik-Rogozin School, and was made by American filmmakers Kirk Simon and Karen Goodman.

As usual, Jewish writers took center stage.

Aaron Sorkin for “Social Network,”  the Coen brothers for “True Grit” and Debra Granik for “Winter’s Bone” were named for their adapted screenplays.

For original screenplays, nods went to David Seidler for “King’s Speech,”  Lisa Cholodenko with Stuart Blumberg for “The Kids Are Alright,”  Scott Silver for “Fighter” and Britain’s Mike Leigh for “Another Year.”

Oscar winners will be crowned Feb. 27 at Hollywood’s Kodak Theatre.

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