This is a short report:
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen won best picture, along with producer Scott Rudin for No Country for Old Men. That was one brutal flick but definitely memorable and exceptionally well crafted.
Out of the five pics nominated for Best Picture, four had some connection to Jewish artists. No Country for Old Men in the direction and production; There Will Be Blood with its leading actor who also won the Oscar, Daniel Day Lewis; Juno directed by Jason Reitman, son of Ivan Reitman; and Michael Clayton produced by Sidney Pollack.
Among the five nominees for Best Director, along with the Coen Brothers, Jason Reitman and Julian Schnabel (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly) were also nominees.
And, of course, for the first time in many years, Israel had a movie in the running in the Best Foreign Film category with the movie Beaufort. I’m not a big fan of that movie because I actually think the portrayal of the Israelis is inaccurate, but I respect the quality of the filmmaking and the viewpoint of the director, Joseph Cedar. Congratulations to Cedar, an observant Jew who was careful to keep the Sabbath even as he attended festivities related to this nomination, for this achievement.
Update: The winner of the Best Foreign Film Oscar was Die Falscher, or The Counterfeiters, which is set during the Holocaust and tells the story of a Jewish counterfeiter and his interaction with the Nazi regime. I can’t tell whether the director, Stefan Ruzowitzky, or the original book’s author, Adolf Burger, are Jewish.