Oscar nominations were announced yesterday, and Jews and Jewish-themed movies, as you might expect, were among the honorees. Woody Allen (yes, he’s Jewish!) racked up four nominations for “Midnight in Paris” (though nothing for Adrien Brody, whose version of Salvador Dali is the only way we want to imagine the artist); “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close”, based on the novel by Jonathan Safran Foer, is up for Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor; Steven Spielberg’s “War Horse” got a nod for Best Picture, among other nominations (We sneaked into this movie for five minutes before “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” and, you know, it’s “War Horse.”); Jonah Hill is up for Best Supporting Actor (making up for the “Superbad” snub, natch); and in the Foreign Language category, office favorite “Footnote” from Israel (a Talmudic thriller? Yes, please!) faces off against “In Darkness,” a Holocaust story from Poland. In our January/February issue, Moment takes a look back at some notable Jewish Oscar winners from the past. Mazel tov to all the nominees!
Moment Zoominar: The Making of Midnight Cowboy with Journalist Glenn Frankel and Film Historian Rebecca Prime
In an era when a new wave of movies pushed the boundaries of mainstream filmmaking, Midnight Cowboy stands out as the riskiest, most unconventional, and most successful of them all. Glenn Frankel’s new book, Shooting Midnight Cowboy: Art, Sex, Loneliness, Liberation, and the Making of a Dark Classic, explores the making of the only X-rated film to win a Best Picture Oscar and offers a window onto the creative ferment and social unrest that gripped New York and America in the 1960s: the rise of gay liberation, the treatment of sexual themes in popular culture, and the role of Jewish artists such as director John Schlesinger and star Dustin Hoffman. Glenn, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, in conversation with film historian and scholar Rebecca Prime, managing editor of Film Quarterly.
A Fortunate Man, dubbed in English, is long and dark and drags some. Still, it reminds us that—wherever in the Diaspora Jews have settled—there are among us people driven by altruism and a passion for social justice.
Repetition mixed with monotony is not usually high up on Hollywood’s list of project themes, which is why Hulu’s Palm Springs was such a delightful surprise. The film stars Andy Samberg (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) and Cristin Milioti (How I Met Your Mother) as two apathetic California wedding guests who get stuck in a Groundhog Day-like time loop, forcing them to relive the couple’s special day over and over again. For a film that was shot in pre-coronavirus times, Palm Springs is surprisingly relevant.