Oscar night is back

Beafort.jpgThis 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.


  1. ramon marcos

    2/25/2008 at 1:08 am

    Not to mention… between “No Country…” and “Juno” how much Minneapolis DOMINATED the Oscars.

    Although some here will find all the Chitown and Boston connections I’m missing. πŸ™‚

  2. yisroel

    2/25/2008 at 1:38 am

    also the winner of foreign film is the counterfeiters which is related to the holocaust

  3. themiddle

    2/25/2008 at 1:43 am

    Thanks for the heads up, Yisroel.

  4. Larry Mark

    2/25/2008 at 10:54 am

    Yes. When I saw Joseph Cedar in the audience, sitting in fron of Ruzowitzky, I thought, that is the weirdest hairpiece sitting atop is baldish head. Oooops… he isn;t member of the hair club for men… it is a kippah.

    With regard to your question on Adolf Burger… Burger was born to a Jewish family in Slovakia, and when the Nazis attacked, he made false papers for Jews who were trying to flee or hide. When he was sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau, he was selected out of the group destined for murder since he was an experienced printer. His wife was not as fortunate. He wrote several pamphlets and a book on his experience as a forger for the Third Reich, and that is the basis for the film.

  5. Larry Mark

    2/25/2008 at 11:12 am

    Oh.. as for Stefan Ruzowitzky…. Stefan is not Jewish. Being Austrian, some of his grandparents were affiliated with the Nazi party, which is why he felt a special desire to make this film, all of which is filmed from the prisoners’ POVs. Stefan’s wife is, as they say in Vienna, “half Jewish.”
    =Larry, Jewishfilm.com

  6. Ephraim

    2/26/2008 at 2:37 am

    Daniel Day Lewis? What?

  7. themiddle

    2/26/2008 at 3:10 am

    “…Son of the late British Poet Laureate Cecil Day-Lewis and Jewish mother, Jill Balcon, Day-Lewis grew up in South London…”


  8. Ephraim

    2/26/2008 at 3:29 am

    Damn. Those Jews are everywhere.

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