'Paradise' Golden; Weisz Blooms
The Golden Globe awards, often seen as a curtain raiser and preview of the Oscar ceremonies, picked a tense drama about two Palestinian suicide bombers as best foreign language film on Monday night, while shutting out Steven Spielberg's "Munich."
"Paradise Now" by director-writer Hany Abu-Assad is the first Palestinian film to receive wide critical recognition and is considered a serious contender for Academy Award honors.
"Munich," the controversial movie about the Israeli hunt for the killers of its athletes at the 1972 Olympics, was earlier nominated in two categories. Spielberg vied for best director and Tony Kushner and Eric Roth for best screenplay, but none got the final nod from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which sponsors the Golden Globes.
In the movie acting categories, Britain's Rachel Weisz, the daughter of Jewish refugees from Europe, received the best supporting actress award for her role in "The Constant Gardner." Philip Seymour Hoffman was honored as best actor in the title role of "Capote." In some references, Hoffman is listed as Jewish, in others as of mixed Catholic-Protestant background.
Paul Newman, who is half-Jewish, was recognized as best supporting actor for his role in the television movie "Empire Falls." -- Tom Tugend, Contributing Editor
Oprah Selects Wiesel Book
Oprah Winfrey will visit Auschwitz and make Elie Wiesel's "Night" her next book-club selection. The New York Times reported that Winfrey, the talk-show host, will visit the site of the death camp with Wiesel later this month. "Night" chronicles Wiesel's experiences at Auschwitz and Buchenwald. The edition of the book selected by Winfrey is a new translation by Wiesel's wife, Marion.
High Court Upholds Suicide Law
The U.S. Supreme Court upheld Oregon's assisted suicide law. The high court ruled Tuesday that Oregon's law, permitting doctor-assisted suicide, was not a violation of federal drug laws. The Orthodox Union had filed a brief in the case, siding with the federal government and against euthanasia. Numerous other Jewish groups chose not to weigh in on the case, but have been interested in the case's impact on end-of-life issues, a controversial subject in the Jewish community.
Six justices ruled in favor of Oregon, which allowed doctor-assisted suicide in a 1994 ballot initiative. Justice Anthony Kennedy said former Attorney General John Ashcroft went "beyond his expertise" in enforcing drug laws to prevent the Oregon decision. He was joined by Justices John Paul Stevens, David Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.
Chief Justice John Roberts joined Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas in dissent.
Briefs courtesy Jewish Telegraphic Agency