Eli Roth, Milo Manheim and Gina Gershon

Nate Bloom blogs on this week's Jews in the News.

Horror on Turkey Day, The Crown Ends, Barbra’s Mall, Convicted!

“Thanksgiving”, a horror film, was directed and co-written by ELI ROTH, 51, a “master” of horror (Opens in theaters on Nov. 17). Roth’s big hits include “Hostel” (2005) and “Cabin Fever” (2016). He also acts now-and-again. He played Donny "The Bear Jew" Donowitz in Quentin Tarantino's war film “Inglorious Basterds” (2009).

Here's the "Thanksgiving" premise: After a Black Friday riot ends in tragedy, a mysterious serial killer, known only as "John Carver", comes to Plymouth, Mass, with the intention of creating a Thanksgiving carving board out of the town's inhabitants.

The film’s co-stars include MILO MANHEIM, 22, GINA GERSHON, 61, and RICK HOFFMAN, 61. I’d like to tell you more about their characters. But Roth and his publicity people have been tight-lipped about what these supporting actors “do” in the film. I do know they all have biggish roles.

Manheim is the son of actress CAMRYN MANHEIM, 62 (“The Practice” and, currently, the chief police officer on “Law and Order”). Milo had a bar mitzvah ceremony.

Gershon has been steadily working in film and TV for about 30 years. Early in her career, she starred in “hot” roles in two films that got a lot of attention: “Bound” and “Showgirls”. Gershon, I just learned, can sing, and a bio noted that she recorded a song (2011) with top jazz bassist Christian McBride, an African American and 8-time Grammy winner. The song was entitled “Chitlins and Gefiltefish”

Hoffman is a character actor who has scores of TV guest shots. He was a series regular on “Suits”, a USA show that ran from 2011-2019. He played Louis Litt, an attorney who becomes the best friend of his law partner, star character Harvey Specter (GABRIEL MACHT, now 51).

“The Crown”, the big hit Netflix series, “drops” its 6th and final, 8-episode season on Nov.16. The series primarily focused on Queen Elizabeth II. The first season began in 1947, when the future Queen was about to marry Prince Phillip. The 6th season is mostly about  Princess Diana. We see Diana from the time she met and married (1981) now-King Charles III, until her death in 1997.

As I’ve written before, the series was created by, and largely written by PETER MORGAN, 60. He’s the secular son of a German Jewish refugee father and a Polish Catholic refugee mother. He wrote or co-wrote all the 6th season episodes. There is talk that a prequel series may be made. It would cover several monarchs who preceded Elizabeth II.

Almost all the actors in “The Crown” are British are there are comparatively few British Jewish actors . Only one British Jew had a regular role: ANTON LESSER, 71,who played Prime Minister Macmillan in season 2. “Game of Thrones” fans know his most-seen role-- “mad scientist” Qyburn, ally of the evil Queen Cersei.

BARBRA STREISAND, 81, finally wrote an autobiography (“Barbra Is My Name”.) It was released on Nov.7. CBS Sunday Morning (Nov.5) interviewed Streisand. The whole interview was interesting—but I was blown away by the opening segment. You “gotta” see it. Streisand admits she’s a huge collector of stuff—including valuable antiques, clothing (this includes expensive film/stage costumes and thrift store finds), and kitschy inexpensive tchotchkes.      

Viewers get a quick tour of what CBS calls “her mall”. It is the lowest floor of her Malibu mansion. There is a line of  “mall shops”--medium-size glass enclosed rooms (with a glass door). Each “shop” is dedicated to a type of collection. It’s sort of crazy, but it also makes sense: all her stuff is nicely on display for Barbra’s “viewing pleasure” and not hid away in a warehouse (Full interview on Youtube).

I devoted my Nov. 2 column to the trial of CHARLES ADELSON, a prominent South Florida dentist. He was accused of paying hitmen to kill (2014). his ex-brother-in-law,  law professor Dan Markel. His motive: Adelson’s sister, WENDI, wanted her two young sons, with Markel, to live with her in South Florida. Markel blocked that.

The trial began on Oct.26 and ended on Nov.6. The jury found Adelson guilty of  murder in just a few hours. I really recommend that you view summaries/clips of this case on Court TV (on Youtube). The trial was better than almost all TV mysteries. Adelman popped up with a surprise defense that I found to be possibly credible.  Of course, Adelman might be a great liar.

There is (probably) more than one “season”: it’s likely that Adelson’s Jewish parents will now be indicted for Markel’s murder and the district attorney may even be close to having “the goods” on Wendi, a law professor.


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