Andy Samberg and Maya Rudolph are the hosts of "Baking It."
Andy Samberg and Maya Rudolph are the hosts of "Baking It."

Schlubby Adam Sandler couture blows up; Hanukkah takes over ‘Baking It’; etc.

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Making it to the top

Vanity Fair’s movie critics have come out with their 2021 Top 10 list, and boy do they love Maggie Gyllenhaal’s “The Lost Daughter,” which is based on a book by Elena Ferrante. Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story” got a mention, as did Joel Coen’s “The Tragedy of Macbeth.” Also given a nod: “The Humans,” starring Beanie Feldstein and Amy Schumer, an adaptation of a Tony award–winning play.

Sandlercore blows up

Maybe this makes sense for a Covid year? Adam Sandler, king of hoodies and basketball shorts, has been named 2021’s top style star. Not by fashion critics, but by Google, which compiles the year’s top trending searches. Whether it’s called “slob-ebrity” or “Sandlercore,” the comedian’s baggy, comfy dad look has seemingly struck a chord with the public.

In other Sandler news, his new movie “Hustle,” directed by Jeremiah Zagar, is about a basketball recruiter who travels to China to find a star. At least, that was what it was about until Netflix, which is bankrolling the film but doesn’t stream in China, asked for a change. Now the film, expected to come out in 2022, has Sandler traveling to Spain, with the star played by real b-baller Juancho Hernangómez of the Boston Celtics. (Sandler is well known for how much he loves to play basketball.)

Hanukkah for Christmas

A holiday special called “Baking It,” by NBC’s streaming channel Peacock, aired this month. Hosted by Maya Rudolph and Andy Samberg, the baking competition reality show started with a holiday-themed episode. “This is a Christmas show. And everyone knows that every great Christmas starts with Hanukkah,” Samberg said before launching the competitors into creating a themed Hanukkah or Christmas dessert. As reviewed on Alma, “it’s the belated Hanukkah gift I had no idea I needed.”

Goodbye to Williams and Sher

Two Jewish actors have died, one an Oscar-nominated beauty from the golden age of Hollywood and the other a British character actor known for his transformational acting. Cara Williams, who died at 96, was a film actress throughout the 1940s and 1950s. She was nominated for an Academy Award for best supporting actress for 1958’s “The Defiant Ones” (starring Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier) and went on to become a household name through her work in sitcoms.

Antony Sher, who was 72, was primarily a stage actor in the U.K., where he moved after leaving his native South Africa. Knighted in 2000, he was noted for the physicality of his acting and his numerous starring roles with the Royal Shakespeare Company. He told the New York Times in 2019 that he was drawn to roles that mirrored his own feelings of being an outsider. “I was a white Jewish South African and I didn’t feel like I belonged in the classical British theater,” he said. “I always felt a bit like an interloper.”

Maya Mirsky
Maya Mirsky

Maya Mirsky is a J. Staff Writer based in Oakland.