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.


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."


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


On this day: Adolph Zukor is born

By Jennifer Lipman, January 7, 2011

Almost a century after it was founded, film production and distribution company Paramount Pictures remains a Hollywood giant – a level of success its Hungarian-born Jewish immigrant founder could scarcely have anticipated.

Adolph Zukor was described in his JC obituary as “a founding father of the American film industry”, an accolade that was no exaggeration. From a religious family with several rabbinic relatives, he left Riese at 15 to start a new life in New York as a furrier’s apprentice.


On this day: Corey Haim is born

By Jennifer Lipman, December 23, 2010

Before Zac Efron, another Jewish actor was known all over the world as a teenage heartthrob. Corey Haim, star of Joel Schumacher’s The Lost Boys, Lucas and License To Drive.

Born in Toronto, Canada, the actor had an Israeli mother, Judy, and a Canadian-Jewish father Bernie. He was raised Jewish, although his parents divorced when he was eleven.


Review: Little Fockers

By Jonathan Foreman, December 22, 2010

Jews not only have bad manners, they are barely aware that manners exist, let alone that manners are about consideration for others. Jews tell untruths to get what they want. They are sex-obsessed. They are slobs. Their menfolk are hopelessly impractical shlemiels. They are complacently ignorant of the ways of other cultures, even in their own country.

At least, that is the way Jews are portrayed by the Jewish creators of the Meet the Parents trilogy of films.