I love movies, but I do not get up at the crack o’ crack to listen to Academy Award nominations and try and figure out who’s relevant to the tribe. No, I rely on real reporters to set their clocks, pierce their consciousness with their chosen stimulants, take in the information accurately and distill it down to a nice, Jewish package:
Judging from Tom Tugend’s jta report, is this could be a fairly Jewishy year for the Oscars:
“Munich,” Steven Spielberg’s controversial version of the Israeli hunt for the Palestinian murderers of Israel’s 1972 Olympic athletes, has been nominated five times Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay by Tony Kushner and Eric Roth, Best Editing and Best Original Score.
Joaquin Phoenix, whose mother was born Orthodox (but converted to Hippie and named her children River, Leaf and Rain), garnered a Best Actor nomination for crooning just like Johnny Cash in Walk the Line.
Surely, no one’s surprised that Jake Gyllenhaal, also of Jewish matrilineal descent, was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in the cowboy-on-cowboy drama Brokeback Mountain.
Yenta favorite Rachel Weisz is in contention for Best Supporting Actress The Constant Gardener, for which she’s already won a Golden Globe.
The Best Original Screenplay category represents the full age spectrum of neurotic Jewish males with Woody Allen (Match Point) and Noah Baumbach for (The Squid and the Whale.) Dan Futterman (Capote) scored an Adapted Screenplay nomination.
Relevant in a “not so good for the Jews” kind of way is “Paradise Now,” the breakout success by director-writer Hany Abu-Assad about two Palestinian men planning to blow up themselves and a bus, nominated for Best Foreign Language Film.
Left out of Tugend’s report (but again, he did all the work, so I’m not faulting him at all) is Philip Seymour Hoffman, he of the Jewish name and WASPy skin and hair, nominated for Best Actor for his role in “Capote.”
Whether Jews sweep the Oscars or not, it’ll be a Jewish night no matter what with Jon Stewart hosting. Heck, it might even be worth watching Sunday night, March 5.