This is the first year for nearly 50 years that not a single Oscar or Golden Globe entry has focused on the horrors of the Shoah.
Equally ignored, with one peripheral exception, are films on World War II and the Nazi regime. Only a year ago, Jewish GIs were wiping out Hitler and his minions in Inglorious Basterds, and the year before we fed on German guilt and anti-Nazi resistance in The Reader, Defiance and Valkyrie.
True Grit is the best Coen brothers film since O Brother, Where Out Thou, and also the most enjoyable. There is hardly a trace of self-consciousness to spoil the pleasure of its lean 110 minutes. It is dark and funny without lapsing into the gratuitous misanthropy that has marked some of the Coens' work. Everything is perfectly crafted and refreshingly low-key.
So called "omnibus" films, composed of more-or-less linked shorts, are always a bit of a gamble. Not long after the World Trade Centre attack, a group of directors made a splash with an omnibus film called 11'09'01 but which included some dreadfully pretentious or even offensive material.
When the Swiss Justice Ministry rejected an extradition request from the United States for Polanski last summer, it was just the latest chapter in a story every bit as dramatic and complex as one of the director’s films.
Born Raimund Liebling in Paris, Polanski survived the Holocaust by escaping from the Krakow ghetto, although his mother was killed in Auschwitz.
After the war he worked his way up in the Polish film world, moving to Hollywood in the 1960s and going on to make Oscar-winning classics including Rosemary’s Baby, Chinatown, and The Pianist.
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.