Film

Hall of Fame: Darren Aronofsky

January 27, 2011

"You can’t boycott an entire nation."

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Oscar nominated: Coen Brothers, Aaron Sorkin and Natalie Portman

By Jennifer Lipman, January 25, 2011

The Coen Brothers remake of the Western classic True Grit has been nominated for 10 Oscars.

The Jewish directing duo Joel and Ethan are up for the Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Director awards.

They were last nominated for the awards in 2009 for A Serious Man, and have won Oscars for their films Fargo and No Country for Old Men.

The film’s young star, Hailee Steinfeld, who has a Jewish father, was named in Best Supporting Actress category.

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Sacha Baron Cohen to play Saddam Hussein

By Jennifer Lipman, January 21, 2011

Jewish comedian Sacha Baron Cohen is to take on perhaps his most controversial role yet.

Having played the fast-talking Ali G, the Kazakhstani businessman Borat and the fashionista Bruno, he will now play Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

Mr Baron Cohen, who was just eight years old when Saddam took control of Iraq, will be the star of a Hollywood love story about an Iraqi leader’s illicit affair with a poor subject trapped in an unhappy marriage.

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Review: Black Swan

By Jonathan Foreman, January 21, 2011

The brilliant director Darren Aranofsky first came to notice with a low-budget independent film called Pi about a paranoid mathematical genius pursued by Chasidic numerologists. But it was with the terrific, eye-poppingly inventive but harrowing drugs film Requiem for a Dream that he made his reputation.

Since then, Aranofsky's work has ranged from the slated science fiction effort The Fountain to The Wrestler which won a Best Actor Oscar for Mickey Rourke.

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Barney's Version interview: Robert Lantos

By Stephen Applebaum, January 20, 2011

The glitz and glamour of events like the Oscars make the film industry look like a one-way street to fame and fortune. But do not be fooled, warns Canada's most successful movie producer, Robert Lantos. "I think anybody who chooses to make films for money is out of his mind," says the man behind award-winning films such as David Cronenberg's Crash and Eastern Promises, Istvan Szabo's Sunshine, and Jeremy Podewsa's Fugitive Pieces. "It's so hard to make a movie - it takes such a long time, so much effort - that to make a film, for me, for any reason than my own passion, makes no sense."

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Nazi controversy threat to King's Speech Oscar chances

By Jennifer Lipman, January 18, 2011

The award-winning film about Britain’s wartime king has been condemned for whitewashing history by an anonymous critic who some suggest is seeking to upset the film’s Oscar chances.

The King’s Speech, which stars Colin Firth as King George VI, follows the monarch as he ascended to the throne in 1936 and attempted to conquer his life-long speech impediment.

The film ends with the king’s powerful speech as Britain entered the Second World War, but in general makes few mentions of the Nazi threat.

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Black Swan and Social Network up for Baftas

By Jennifer Lipman, January 18, 2011

Natalie Portman has been nominated for Britain’s most important film award.

Two days after she picked up a Golden Globe for her performance as an ambitious, tortured ballerina in Black Swan, the Israeli-born actress has been placed in the running for the Bafta award for Best Actress.

The drama, which arrives on British screens this week, has been nominated for five awards, including the Best Director nod for its Jewish filmmaker Darren Aronofsky.

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Natalie Portman, Aaron Sorkin triumph at Golden Globes

By Jennifer Lipman, January 17, 2011

Jewish stars were celebrating last night after they swept the boards at the Golden Globes ceremony in Los Angeles.

Jerusalem-born actress Natalie Portman has been widely tipped for an Oscar-nomination after she was named Best Actress for Black Swan.

The film, released in Britain this week, stars Ms Portman as a tormented prima ballerina and is directed by Jewish filmmaker Darren Aronofsky.

Mr Aronofsky was nominated for Best Director but lost out to The Social Network, a retelling of the origin of Facebook and its Jewish misfit creator Mark Zuckerberg.

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Jewish dibbuk spirit gets Sam Raimi makeover

By Jennifer Lipman, January 14, 2011

A disembodied spirit out of Jewish folklore is to be the subject of a new horror film.

Spiderman director Sam Raimi is to produce “Dibbuk Box”, which will tell the story of a family cursed when they open a mysterious haunted box.

The film, starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan of Grey’s Anatomy fame, is set to be released in time for Halloween.

Traditionally spelt with a Y, a dybbuk is said to be a malicious spirit that escapes from the soul of a deceased person and attaches itself to that of a living person in order to complete something left unfinished.

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Spiderman star Andrew Garfield up for Bafta rising star nod

By Jennifer Lipman, January 10, 2011

Jewish actor Andrew Garfield has been nominated for this year's Bafta rising star award.

The half-British star, chosen as the next star of the Spiderman franchise, will soon be on screen alongside Keira Knightley and Carey Mulligan in the film version of the Kazuo Ishiguro novel Never Let Me Go.

Last month Mr Garfield was nominated for a Golden Globe for his role in The Social Network, about the founding of Facebook.

The film, written by Aaron Sorkin, has also been placed on the long-list of potential nominees for the 2011 Baftas.

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