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David O. Russell’s lovable crooks

By Naomi Pfefferman

February 19, 2014 | 2:30 pm

From left: Christian Bale, Amy Adams and director David O. Russell on the set of “American Hustle.” Photo © 2013 Annapurna Productions

Filmmaker David O. Russell was laughing delightedly at the antics of his 2-year-old son, Leo. The precocious toddler had found a present meant to be opened only on his birthday, as... read on

  • Human condition guides ‘Captain Phillips’ screenwriter’s process

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    February 18, 2014 | 1:24 pm

    In April 2009, Captain Richard Phillips received dismaying news while conducting a routine safety drill aboard the MV Maersk Alabama, a container ship carrying tons of relief supplies through Somali waters en route to port in Mombasa, Kenya. On the radar screen, a very real menace... read on

  • The weighty experience of ‘Gravity’

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    February 18, 2014 | 1:15 pm

    A little-known fact about “Harry Potter” producer David Heyman is that his Jewish grandfather, Heinz Heyman, was a prominent journalist who had to bicycle out of Nazi Germany eventually finding safety in London. From there, he eventually launched a new career covering economics for... read on

  • June Squibb’s just deserts: A Hollywood vet’s Oscar debut

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    February 18, 2014 | 1:03 pm

    These days, 84-year-old actress June Squibb is feeling like the princess who has finally been invited to the ball. After more than six decades of quietly grinding away as a character actress on stage, TV and in films, Squibb has been nominated for her first Academy Award — courtesy... read on

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  • Long, winding road to ‘Dallas’ leads to six Oscar noms

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    January 31, 2014 | 11:16 am

    Robbie Brenner and Rachel Winter, producers of “Dallas Buyers Club,” scarcely slept the night before the early-morning announcement of this year’s Oscar nominations on Jan. 16.

    Their movie — the real-life story of a Texas homophobe (Matthew McConaughey) who becomes an unlikely... read on

  • Jonah Hill’s not-so-nice Jewish guy

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    January 6, 2014 | 5:48 pm

    In January, 2012, when Jonah Hill -- who first became famous for his comic roles in raunch-fests-with-heart, like “Superbad” -- had just received an Academy Award nomination for his dramatic turn as a shy statistics whiz in Bennett Miller’s baseball saga “Moneyball,” he told the... read on

  • ‘Book Thief’ a story of pure beauty, pure destruction

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    November 6, 2013 | 1:57 pm

    Markus Zusak still remembers how his mother, a German Lutheran immigrant to Australia, vividly described the day she saw the Jews being marched to Dachau in her hamlet near Munich. 

    “There was an old, emaciated man who couldn’t keep up with the others, and a teenage boy ran up... read on

  • Bruce Cohen: A career full of ‘Silver Linings’

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    February 19, 2013 | 7:42 am

    Producer Bruce Cohen, a best-picture nominee for his work on “Silver Linings Playbook,” has been obsessed with the Academy Awards since he was 8. During a recent interview at his Hollywood Hills home, looking dapper in plaid pants and shoulder-length blond curls , Cohen exuberantly... read on

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Naomi Pfefferman Magid is the arts & entertainment editor of the Jewish Journal, where she’s spent the last quarter century interviewing everyone from Seth Rogen, Natalie...

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