“Schitt’s Creek” is also up for more awards after its historic Emmys sweep last year.
The Golden Globe awards, for excellence in TV and film, will be awarded on Sunday, Feb. 28, at 8 p.m. Due to the pandemic, the Globes will be a virtual event. Norman Lear, 98, the creator of many great TV shows, including All in the Family will receive the “Carol Burnett Award” for “outstanding contributions to television.”
Unlike many years, there is no Jewish nominee in the film (drama) actor/actress categories (there are five nominees in all Globe categories). However, Gary Oldman is nominated for a best actor (drama) Globe for playing Jewish screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz in Mank.
The best actor, comedy or musical film, category has two Jewish nominees: Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm) and Andy Samberg, 42 (Palm Springs). Cohen played star character Borat, as well as co-writing this “mockumentary.” Samberg played an affable guy who finds himself living the same day over and over.
The best actress (musical/comedy film) nominees include Kate Hudson, 41, who had a star role in Music, a film most critics disliked. She plays a reformed drug dealer who takes care of her autistic half-sister.
Sacha Baron Cohen, 49, is also nominated for best supporting actor (film) for playing 1960s radical Abbie Hoffman in The Trial of the Chicago 7. Aaron Sorkin, 59, who wrote and directed the film is the sole Jewish nominee in the best (film) director and best (film) screenplay categories.
Composer James Newton Howard, 69, is nominated for best original score (News of the World) and Diane Warren, 64, is up for a Globe for co-writing the original song “Seen” for the film The Life Ahead.
One nominee for the best animated film Globe, Over the Moon, has a poignant asterisk. It was written by Audrey Lederer Wells, who died of cancer in 2018, at age 58. The film is dedicated to her. Her late father, Wolfgang Lederer, an Austrian Jew, fled from the Nazis, joined the American army and fought from D-Day until he was severely injured in early 1945. He was highly decorated and left the army as a major. The carnage of war led him to become a psychiatrist and many of his patients were Holocaust survivors.
A Holocaust survivor is the central character of The Life Ahead, a best foreign language film nominee. Sophia Loren plays a retired prostitute who is also a Jewish Holocaust survivor. She forms an unlikely friendship with a Muslim boy. This film got mixed reviews, unlike the 1977 film Madame Rosa, which was based on the same novel by Romain Gary. It won the Oscar for best foreign film and French actress Simone Signoret (whose father was Jewish) was, frankly, better than Loren in the same role.
The Trial of the Chicago 7 is nominated for best drama film. It competes with Mank, which, as I said, is about a “real” Jew. The director and screenwriter of Mank aren’t Jewish. There are eight important real-life Jewish characters in the film and no Jewish actors or actresses play them (Oy, you say? I agree).
The best film (musical or comedy) category has many more Jewish connections. Borat Subsequent Moviefilm was, as I’ve noted, co-written by Sacha Baron Cohen. It was directed by Jason Woliner, 40. Also nominated in this category are Hamilton, directed by Thomas Kail, 43; The Prom, a musical whose songs were written by co-written by Matthew Sklar; and Palm Springs, directed by Max Barbakow, 35.
There are no Jewish actresses nominated for best lead in a TV series. The best lead actor category has one nominee, Josh O’Connor, with an unusual Jewish backstory. He’s nominated for playing Prince Charles in The Crow. His maternal great-grandmother was Jewish and although he is, in common terms, one-eight Jewish, he is a “Halachic Jew.” I mention him because his domestic partner is Margot Hauer-King, 30ish, the sister of hot British actor Jonah Hauer-King, 25. I know these siblings are practicing Jews — so who knows where O’Connor will end up “religion-wise?”
Jane Levy, 31, is nominated for best lead actress, comedy or musical (TV). She stars in Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist. I know her father is Jewish, and her mother is not. But she never talks about her Jewish ancestry or any religious practice. A “quite” Jewish actress, Israeli Shira Haas, 25, is nominated for best performance in a mini-series or TV movie. She starred in Unorthodox, a series about a Hasidic woman who leaves her sect for the secular world.
Dan Levy, 37 (Schitt’s Creek) is nominated for best supporting actor in a series and Julia Garner, 27 (Ozark) vies for the same award in the actress category. Garner’s mother is Jewish, and Garner has described herself as Jewish several times. She won the 2019 and 2020 Emmy for this role.
The nominees for best mini-series include The Queen’s Gambit. It was written and directed by Scott Frank, 60. This series about a female chess grandmaster was a monster ratings and critical hit for Netflix. Also in this category are The Undoing, a murder mystery, and Unorthodox. The Undoing is based on a novel by Jean Hanff Korelitz, 59, and it was directed by Susanne Bier, 60, a Danish Jew. Unorthodox was inspired by a memoir by Deborah Feldman, 34, once a member of a Hasidic sect. It was co-written by Anna Winger, 50.
The best TV drama series nominees include The Crown, which was created by, and is written by Peter Morgan, 57. His Jewish father fled Nazi Germany for England. His mother isn’t Jewish. Also in this category is The Mandalorian, a Disney fantasy series that was created by, and is directed by Jon Favreau, 54.
The best musical or comedy series nominees include Emily in Paris, a light show about a Midwestern young woman who moves to Paris. It was created by Darren Star, 59, who also created Beverly Hills, 90210 and co-created Sex and the City. Emily vies with Schitt’s Creek for this Globe. Perhaps because it was on the little-watched Popcorn channel, Creek languished in relative obscurity during its first four seasons (2015-2019). But critics and viewers eventually found it and it swept the 2020 Emmys. Dan Levy, and his father, Eugene Levy, 74, co-star in Creek and they co-created the show.