On this day: Zero Mostel is born

By Jennifer Lipman, February 28, 2011

The Broadway comedian was born Sam Joel in Brooklyn to Orthodox parents and spent his childhood learning at a yeshiva school, but chose to enter showbiz and change his name to Zero rather than follow in the family footsteps.


Oscars 2011 Live blog

By Jennifer Lipman, February 25, 2011

The JC is covering the Oscars live tonight from 11.30. Check our Oscars live blog for all the latest news on winners, losers, dresses, speeches and more.

Full Red Carpet coverage here

Best Picture
- Black Swan
- The Fighter
- Inception
- The Kids Are All Right


Review: Howl

By Jonathan Foreman, February 24, 2011

There are few films about poets and fewer that are based on poems.


Review: The Human Resources Manager

By Jenni Frazer, February 22, 2011

The Human Resources Manager has had a truly terrible day – and it is about to get worse.

Mark Ivanir’s wonderfully woeful hangdog features find the zenith of their expression in Eran Riklis’s latest film, screened in preview by the UK Jewish Film Festival at London’s Tricycle Cinema last weekend.

Based on AB Yehoshua’s novella, A Woman in Jerusalem, Riklis’s film is warm, funny, and ultimately uplifting.


And the Oscar doesn't go to...Holocaust films?

By Tom Tugend, February 17, 2011

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.


Review: True Grit

By Jonathan Foreman, February 10, 2011

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.


Review: New York I Love You

By Jonathan Foreman, February 3, 2011

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.


Adam Sandler gets star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

By Jennifer Lipman, February 3, 2011

Adam Sandler has joined the ranks of Jewish actors with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Mr Sandler, whose hits include The Wedding Singer and Big Daddy, has become the 2,341st person to be honoured on the famous Beverley Hills boulevard.

At the ceremony the actor, 44, praised his two daughters for always making him feel like he was good at things.

He said: “Even when I was terrible at things made me brim with confidence.

"This is a big deal. I can't believe this has happened in my life."


On this day: Roman Polanski flees

By Jennifer Lipman, February 1, 2011

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.


Another win for Black Swan's Natalie Portman

By Jennifer Lipman, January 31, 2011

Natalie Portman’s performance as a tortured and competitive prima ballerina earned her another film award last night, as the Screen Actors Guild named her Outstanding Female Actress.

The Jerusalem-born actress, who has already picked up a Golden Globe for her star turn in Black Swan, has been critically acclaimed and is expected to win her first Academy Award next month.

She was previously up for the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for the film Closer in 2005, but lost out to Cate Blanchett.