Jewish actress Scarlett Johansson joined a very exclusive club when the nominations for the awards of the Academy for Motion Picture Arts and Sciences were announced in Los Angeles on Tuesday: actors who received two nods the first year they were ever nominated. Johansson was nominated in both acting categories, Best Actress for her role as an actress getting divorced in Marriage Story and Best Supporting Actress for Jojo Rabbit, in which she plays a German mother hiding a Jew in the Nazi era. Although Johansson has had a stellar career since she broke into movies 16 years ago, these are her first Oscar nominations. The only other actors to get two nominations in one year as first-time nominees were Jessica Lange, Emma Thompson (who received a nomination for both adapted screenplay and for acting) and Jamie Foxx. All three of them took home one statuette, which bodes well for Johansson. Jojo Rabbit was the movie with central Jewish content to get multiple nominations, with six in all. In addition to Johansson's nod, it was nominated for Best Picture and its writer/director, Taika Waititi, whose legal name is Taika Cohen, was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay. Two members of the Newman movie-music dynasty received nominations. Thomas Newman, who is nominated for the score for 1917, is the son of the late composer Alfred Newman, who won nine competitive Oscars during his career. Randy Newman, Thomas Newman's cousin and Alfred's nephew, received a nomination for the score for Marriage Story and for Best Song for "I Can't Let You Throw Yourself Away" from Toy Story 4. Joaquin Phoenix, who is Jewish on his mother's side although he spent much of his childhood in the Children of God cult, was nominated for the title role in Joker, a role for which he has already won a Golden Globe and many critics' awards. Joker cinematography nominee, Lawrence Sher, who received his first Oscar nomination, is Jewish.Phillips, along with Scott Silver, was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay for Joker. Noah Baumbach was nominated for Best Original Screenplay for Marriage Story, while Sam Mendes (along with Krysty Wilson-Cairns) was nominated in this category for 1917.In the Best Director category, two nominees are Jewish: Todd Phillips for Joker and Sam Mendes for 1917. Phillips' Joker led the field with 11 nominations overall, including Best Picture. Quentin Tarantino, whose movie, Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood, received 10 nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay, lives part of the year in Tel Aviv with his wife, Israeli singer/model, Daniella Pick. Many had predicted Adam Sandler would receive his first Oscar nomination for Uncut Gems, the story of a jewelry dealer in New York's diamond district, but this wasn't his year, or the movie's – it did not get any nominations.
The controversial film, Advocate, about Israeli lawyer Lea Tsemel, who has defended terrorists, was shortlisted in the Best Documentary category but did not receive a nomination.