The Oscar nominations were announced on Jan. 22 and the awards ceremony will be held on Sunday, Feb. 24, on ABC.
By Nate Bloom
Rachel Weisz, 48, is the only Jewish actor nominated for an acting award. She played Sarah Churchill in The Favourite, a British film that explored Churchill’s relationship with Queen Anne, who co-ruled Great Britain in the early 18th century.
Two non-Jewish actors, Adam Driver and Melissa McCarthy, are nominated for playing Jewish characters. Driver played a Jewish police officer in Black KkKlansman and McCarthy played the late Lee Israel, a real-life Jewish journalist-turned-forger in Can You Ever Forgive Me? Another “real” Jewish person — Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 85, is the subject of the documentary RBG, which is nominated for best feature (full-length) documentary.
Four of the fives movies nominated for best adapted screenplay were co-written by Jewish nominees I will profile Feb. 21. Nicholas Britell, 38, (If Beale Street Could Talk) and Marc Shaiman, 59, (The Return of Mary Poppins) are nominated for best original score. Shaiman scored another nomination (best song) for a tune he wrote for Poppins and vies in this category with Mark Ronson, 43, who co-wrote a nominated song from A Star is Born.
There are Jewish nominees, who I will cover in my Feb. 21 article, in the animated film category and the best documentary categories (full- length and short). I do want to highlight here the nominations of Jamie Ray Newman, 40, and her Israeli husband, Guy Nattiv, 45. Skin, a film they co-produced, is nominated for best short subject film. Newman grew up in Farmington Hills, attended Hillel Day School and graduated from Cranbrook. She’s had a very good, if not spectacular, acting career (mostly in TV) for the last 15 years. She married her husband in Tel Aviv in 2012. A full feature version of Skin, also called Skin, got good reviews at the 2018 Toronto Film Festival and was picked up for national distribution sometime this year. The full-length version, like the short version, was co-produced by Newman and was directed and written by Nattiv. It stars Jamie Bell as a neo-Nazi skinhead who risked his life to leave a white supremacist group. It’s based on a true story. Look for an interview with Newman and Nattiv in the Feb. 7 JN.
The original Netflix black comedy series Russian Doll premieres on Feb. 1. It has kind of a Groundhog Day premise. Natasha Lyonne, 39, who co-created the series, stars as Nadia, who is the guest of honor at a party. Nadia’s problem is that time and time again she finds herself going to this same party, dying, being mysteriously revived and doing it all again the next day.
Nate Bloom’s full coverage of the Jewish nominees will appear in the JN on Feb. 21.