Jews sweep Oscar nominations

Natalie Portman, Jessie Eisenberg, James Franco among nominees for 2011 Oscar ceremony; Coen Brothers receive 10 nods for True Grit.

January 25, 2011 19:57
2 minute read.
natalie portman

oscars 58. (photo credit: Associated Press)


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The nominations for 83rd annual Academy Awards came in this morning, the results of which, one could say, were good for the Jews.

Mother-to-be Natalie Portman, who was born in Jerusalem to an Israeli-doctor father and American-artist mother, was nominated for her role in the Darren Aronofsky film Black Swan. She competes against Hollywood bigwigs Anette Bening (The Kids are All Right) and Nicole Kidman (Rabbit Hole).

Aronofsky, also Jewish, has directed films such as Requiem for a Dream and π (Pi), a film about a paranoid mathematician who turns to gammatria and Hasidism as well as Wall Street in order to find answer to his existential quandaries.

Jesse Eisenber also received a nomination - his first - for his role as Facebook creater Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network. Eisenberg was born to a Jewish family, and was raised in Queens, New York City. James Franco, whose mother is Jewish, received an Best Actor nod for his performance in 127 hours.

Joel and Ethan Coen returned to familiar territory on the Oscar ballot, earning 10 Oscar nods for their interpretation on Charles Portis' 1968 novel True Grit, including best picture. Joel and Ethan Coen have visited the Oscar podium before, for films such as Fargo and No Country for Old Men. The screenwriting-directing-producing duo also made the film A Serious Man in 2009, which was loosely based on the book of Job and their childhoods in a Jewish family and heavily Jewish suburb (St. Louis Park, Minnesota). Their film came in second for number of Oscar nods, falling behind The King's Speech, which earned 12. The King's Speech screenwriter, David Seidler, from a Jewish British family, earned his first Oscar nomination.

There were several Jewish nominees in the screenwriting categories, among them Aaron Sorkin earned a nod for his Facebook docudrama The Social Network, Debra Granki for her adapted screenplay for the grueling Winter's Bone, and the Coen brothers for their highly acclaimed western True Grit.

The Academy spread its nominations across the board this year, nominating larger and smaller production films from Inception and Toy Story 3 to Winter's Bone. Foreign film nominees come from Mexico (Biutiful), Greece (Dogtooth), Denmark (Golden Globe-winner In a Better World), Canada (Incendies), and Algeria (Outside the Law). Israel was nominated last year for its film Ajami, but did not make it to the Academy Awards ballot this year.

The Academy Awards ceremony will air February 27, 2011.

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