February 13, 2003
The Sound Of Oscar
And the award goes to --The Holocaust! No, the Academy Awards have not been given out yet, but the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences nominated "The Pianist," a searing film of one Jew's survival during the doomed uprisings of the ghetto and city of Warsaw during the Nazi occupation, for seven Oscars, including best picture.
Roman Polanski, the movie's director, and Adrien Brody in the title role of Wladyslaw Szpilman, were nominated in the directing and leading actor categories respectively.
There had been considerable speculation whether Polanski, who escaped from the Krakow ghetto as a boy of 7, would be nominated. He is officially a fugitive from the United States for having had unlawful sexual relations with a minor and currently lives in Paris.
Polanski was previously nominated for his films "Tess" (1979), "Chinatown" (1974)Â and "Rosemary's Baby" (1968)
"Frida" whose title character was half-Jewish, received six nominations at the Feb. 11 ceremony in Hollywood.
The German entry, "Nowhere in Africa," was nominated for best foreign language film. It described the struggles of a German Jewish refugee family in the 1930s to adapt to life in Kenya. Israel's entry, "Broken Wings," was not nominated.
Nominated in the documentary feature category was "Prisoner of Paradise." Its central character is Kurt Gerron, a popular Jewish entertainer in pre-Hitler Berlin, who directed a Nazi propaganda film about the "model ghetto" of Theresienstadt and was killed in Auschwitz.
Miramax, headed by Harvey and Bob Weinstein, garnered the most nominations for any studio. (Their hit musical, "Chicago," topped the list of all films with 13 nominations.)
The 75th Annual Academy Awards will air Sunday, March 23 at 5:30 p.m. on ABC