Natalie Portman, once named Natalie Hershlag, is no stranger to ambition. She played her first critically lauded role at the tender age of 13, and just ascended from there (OK, true, her role in the Star War Trilogy was abysmal, but the whole endeavor was as well) culminating in an Academy Award for her work in “Black Swan.”
"Fill the Void,” which won Israel’s equivalent of the Academy Award last year, is a love story unlike any Hollywood fare and it is set in a Jewish community unfamiliar to most Jews.
Actor Sean Penn urged a congressional hearing to pressure Bolivia to release a haredi Orthodox father of five under house arrest in the country.
Alan Arkin is not an actor who seeks individual glory. But that hasn’t prevented the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences from singling him out several times. This year, Arkin has again been nominated for an Oscar, this time as best supporting actor for his work in the critically acclaimed “Argo.”
How can a dubious and unoriginal Israeli movie become the darling of the film world and even get nominated for an Academy Award?
In contrast to previous years, there have been no acrimonious controversies so far. Apparently all sides have tired of arguing whether the Palestinian entry should be officially designated as coming from Palestine, the Palestinian Authority or the Palestinian territory, and plain "Palestine" has won out.
Angress was one of "The Ritchie Boys," a special Army unit made up mainly of young Jewish refugees from Germany, whose World War II exploits have been recorded for the first time in a documentary by German filmmaker Christian Bauer.
The German-Canadian co-production is one of 12 documentaries still in competition for Academy Award honors.
Last year Hollywood unleashed woman of action Erin Brockovich, and won the Academy Award for its star, Julia Roberts.
Makers of short films routinely encounter the difficulty of getting their movies seen by an audience greater than their parents, cast and crew. But the makers of "Visas and Virtues"have had better luck than most.
Michele Ohayon was nursing her 2-month-old baby when the phone rang at 5:45 a.m. and the caller answered a silent prayer: Ohayon's film, "Colors Straight Up," had been nominated as one of five documentary features in contention for an Academy Award.
Two decades ago, filmmaker Ira Wohl sat at the Passover table andthought about his cousin, Philly. For his first 50 years, thedevelopmentally disabled Philly had lived at home with his parents inQueens, never venturing into the world. Wohl now wondered how Phillywould survive once his ailing parents were gone.
I first went wild over "Salah" in 1964. More than three decades later, I couldn't help wondering whether the Israeli movie would still exert its charm and humor.