Showbiz

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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Hall of Fame: Ricky Gervais

January 18, 2011

"Beautiful, talented and Jewish."

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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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Vanessa Paradis and Johnny Depp not going to Israel

By Jennifer Lipman, January 17, 2011

The pop-singer partner of Hollywood star Johnny Depp has cancelled a performance in Israel after she was targeted by pro-Palestinian campaigners calling on her to boycott.

French star Vanessa Paradis, who shot to fame as a 14-year-old with the hit “Joe Le Taxi,” was set to sing at the Tel Aviv Performing Arts Centre next month and meet President Shimon Peres while in the country.

However Ms Paradis has now said that she cannot play the February 10 show because of a commitment in Los Angeles on the same date relating to her film career.

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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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Hall of Fame: Rachel Zoe

January 11, 2011

"I'm also Jewish. So I'm a little superstitious.

"I've been sent a lot of gifts and things and my team just hides them."

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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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Interview: James Bierman

By John Nathan, January 6, 2011

You can hope, but I don't think you can plan for it. That would be dangerous," says wise James Bierman about success.

Bierman knows a lot about the subject. As executive producer of the Donmar Warehouse he oversaw and was largely responsible for the theatre's greatest era - a period so great that it even overshadowed Sam Mendes's tenure in the job, and Mendes managed to persuade Nicole Kidman to appear at the 250-seat Covent Garden venue.

Those heady days seem relatively tame compared to the heights reached by the Donmar under Bierman, and the artistic director Michael Grandage.

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Brigitte Bardot campaigns to ban shechitah in France

By Jennifer Lipman, January 5, 2011

Actress Brigitte Bardot has launched a campaign to ban the religious slaughter of animals in France.

Ms Bardot, along with six other animal rights groups, aims to put up more than 2,000 posters encouraging the government to outlaw both the Jewish practice of shechitah and the Muslim method, halal, of killing animals.

The posters include a graphic image of a cow’s head.

Ms Bardot, 76, wants religious slaughter to be replaced “to prevent animals suffering."

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