Tag Archives: academy awards

A Jew Named Oscar?

Oscar nominations were announced yesterday, and Jews and Jewish-themed movies, as you might expect, were among the honorees. Woody Allen (yes, he’s Jewish!) racked up four nominations for “Midnight in Paris” (though nothing for Adrien Brody, whose version of Salvador Dali is the only way we want to imagine the artist); “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close”, based on the novel by Jonathan Safran Foer, is up for Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor; Steven Spielberg’s “War Horse” got a nod for Best Picture, among other nominations (We sneaked into this movie for five minutes before “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” and, you know, it’s “War Horse.”); Jonah Hill is up for Best Supporting Actor (making up for the “Superbad” snub, natch); and in the Foreign Language category, office favorite “Footnote” from Israel (a Talmudic thriller? Yes, please!) faces off against “In Darkness,” a Holocaust story from Poland. In our January/February issue, Moment takes a look back at some notable Jewish Oscar winners from the past. Mazel tov to all the nominees!

Hollywood, Oscars and the Jews

By Sophie Taylor

This morning’s Oscar nominations did no favors to anyone hoping to dispel the myth that Jews control Hollywood. In the nine most prominent categories, all but one (supporting actor) included at least one Jewish Hollywood player; Jews represented nearly a quarter of the nominees in those categories.

The idea that Jews run Hollywood is as popular as the notion that they control finance or the media.  After CNN’s Rick Sanchez made comments in October implying that Jews control the media, Slate‘s Brian Palmer decided to look into Sanchez’ claims and discovered that while none of the major news stations are Jewish-owned, Hollywood is, in fact, heavily Jewish—forty-five percent of The Guardian’s “Top Twenty Directors of All Time” are Jewish.

Of course, having a heavy presence in an industry is a far cry from the implications of “controlling” it; the latter implies some sort of cabal, monolithic whole, or conspiratorial agenda, while the former is merely a sociological phenomenon.

Below, find a list of this year’s Jewish Oscar nominees in the top categories.

Best Film:
Black Swan, produced by Mike Medavoy
The Fighter, produced by David Hoberman
True Grit, produced by Scott Rubin and the Coen Brothers

Best Lead Actor:
Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network)

Best Lead Actress:
Natalie Portman (Black Swan)

Best Supporting Actress:
Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit)

Best Directing:
Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan)

Adapted Screenplay:
Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network)
Joel & Ethan Coen (True Grit)
Debra Granik (Winter’s Bone)

Original Screenplay:
David Seidler (The King’s Speech)
Stuart Blumberg (The Kids Are Alright)
Lisa Cholodenko (The Kids Are Alright)

Achievement in Music-Original Song:
Alan Menken (Tangled)

For more Jews in film, read Moment’s compilation of Great Jewish Films.