Celebrity jews

Drum rolls, please

The Academy Awards ceremony, hosted by Billy Crystal, airs at 4 p.m. Feb. 26 on ABC. The following is a list of Jewish nominees in categories other than technical. Most are associated with a film nominated for best picture, so I have listed the individuals by film.

Feature film: “The Artist” (best picture nominee). Producer is Thomas Langmann, 39, son of the late French Jewish filmmaker Claude Berri. (Thomas’ mother is not Jewish.) Director Michel Hazanavicius, 44, is nominated for three Oscars: best director, original screenplay and film editing. “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” (best picture). Producer is Scott Rudin, 53. “The Help” (best picture). Producer is Michael Barnathan, 53. “Midnight in Paris” (best picture). Producers are Letty Aronson, 68, and Stephen Tenenbaum, 75. Aronson is the sister of Woody Allen, 76, who directed and wrote the film. Allen is nominated for best director and best original screenplay.

Billy Crystal

“Moneyball” (best picture). Producers are Rachael Horovitz, 50, and Michael De Luca, 46. Horovitz is the daughter of playwright Israel Horovitz, 72, and sister of Adam Horovitz, 46, of “Beastie Boys” fame. (Her late mother wasn’t Jewish.) De Luca is the son of a Jewish mother/non-Jewish father. “Moneyball” co-star Jonah Hill, 28, scored a best supporting actor nomination and is the only nominated Jewish actor or actress this year. “Moneyball” also is nominated for best adapted screenplay, and two of its three writers are Jewish: Stan Chervin, 54, and Aaron Sorkin, 50.

“War Horse” (best picture). Steven Spielberg, 65, the film’s director, also is co-producer. “Hugo” (best picture). The film’s Oscar-nominated score is by Howard Shore, 65. “Tree of Life” (best picture). Emmanuel Lubezki, 48, who was born and raised in Mexico, is nominated for best cinematography.

Steven Spielberg

Best foreign-language film: “In Darkness” (Poland) and “Footnote” (Israel). “In Darkness” is based on the true story of a Polish Catholic man who helped hide Polish Jews in the sewers of Lvov during the Holocaust. Director is Agnieszka Holland, who was born (1948) and raised in Poland, the secular daughter of a Jewish father and Catholic mother. The adapted screenplay is by David F. Shamoon, 64, a Canadian born in India, the son of Iraqi Jews who fled Iraq following a 1941 pogrom. “Footnote,” a comedy-drama, was directed and written by Israeli Joseph Cedar, 43, an Orthodox Jew. It’s about a father and son who both teach in the Talmud department of Hebrew University where the son’s accomplishments far outshine the father’s.

Best documentary feature: “Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory.” This is the third film co-nominees Joe Berlinger, 40, and Bruce Sinofsky, 55, have made about “The West Memphis Three” (teens charged and convicted in the 1993 murder of three young boys).

Best documentary, short subject: “The Barber of Birmingham” was co-directed and produced by co-nominees Robin Fryday and Gail Dolgin. It’s about James Armstrong, an African-American unsung hero of the civil rights movement. Fryday, 53, is a longtime resident of Marin. Dolgin, a longtime Berkeley resident who served on the board of the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, died in October 2010 at 65.


A fun note

I was unable to learn whether French actress Bérénice Bejo, a best supporting actress nominee for “The Artist,” is Jewish. I thought Peter Coyote, 70, of Marin, might know. He starred in the 2004 French film “Le Grand Rôle” as an American Jewish film director who plans to make a Jewish-themed film in France. Bejo, wife of director Hazanavicius, played a Jewish wife in the film.

When he made “Le Grand Rôle,” Coyote was the biggest name actor in the cast and Bejo just a newcomer. Now, he calls himself a “washed-up old actor,” while she is a star.

Coyote did not know whether Bejo is Jewish.


Columnist Nate Bloom, an Oaklander, can be reached at [email protected]

Nate Bloom

Nate Bloom writes the "Celebrity Jews" column for J.