Jamie Lee Curtis, Thomas Kail and Tony Kushner

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

The Globes and A Good Story

The Golden Globe (“Globes”) awards for excellence in film and TV will return to network TV (NBC, Jan. 10, 8PM) after a hiatus last year. Members of the sponsoring organization, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. (HFPA), were credibly accused of many sins, including racism, self-dealing, and sexual harassment. At the verge of extinction, the HFPA agreed to make (monitored) huge changes.

Not many Tribe members were nominated for a 2023 film Globe.  The only acting nominee is JAMIE LEE CURTIS, 64. She got a supporting actress “nom” for “Everything Everywhere All at Once”.

Honorable mention: Michelle Williams is a best actress nominee (drama) for playing a Jewish woman (based on Steven Spielberg’s mother) in “The Fabelmans”. Williams’ husband, director THOMAS KAIL, 44, is Jewish and Williams recently said that she would study Judaism and their two young children would be raised Jewish.    

Spielberg is nominated for best director (Fabelmans). He is also nominated for best screenplay along with his Fabelmans’ co-writer, TONY KUSHNER, 66. They compete with Sarah Polley, 43 (“Women Talking”). Polley, a very talented actress, writer, and director, discovered as a young adult that her biological father was Jewish. She’s not religious and, for now, I am just noting her background--I’m not identifying her as Jewish.

JUSTIN HURWITZ, 37, is nominated for his musical score for “Babylon”. Also: “Argentina, 1985” is nominated for best non-English language film. It’s about the trial of members of the anti-Semitic military junta that ruled Argentina for a decade. Actor NORMAN BRISKI, 84, has a biggish role in 1985. Briski fled Argentina in 1975, after threats from junta goons. He returned in 1983, after the junta’s fall.

The best film Globe goes to the film’s principal producers. If Fabelmans wins, a Globe will go to Spielberg and Kushner.

Every year, the TV Globes are a “silly repeat”.  Last September, I covered the 2022 Emmy nominees and winners. The Jewish actors nominated for a 2023 Globe were also 2022 Emmy nominees.  Here they are, again: JULIA GARNER, 28, for “Inventing Anna” (limited series) AND for “Ozark” (comedy); HANNAH EINBINDER, 27, “Hacks” (comedy series); HENRY WINKLER, 77, “Barry” (comedy); SETH ROGEN, 40, “Pam & Tommy” (limited series), and ANDREW GARFIELD, 39, “Under the Banner of Heaven” (drama).

Last week, I mentioned that I had a “probably very good story” about actress MIA KIRSHNER, who starred in the 2020 Hallmark Channel film “Lights, Love, and Hanukkah!”.  As I will explain, the film led me to this “discovery”.

Here’s a short Kirshner bio. She was born (1975) and raised in Toronto. Her father, SHELDON, was a journalist for the Canadian Jewish News. He still writes forJewish media outlets and he has an on-line journal.  Sheldon’s parents were Holocaust survivors. He was born (1945) in a displaced persons’ camp in Germany. In Israel, he met Mia’s mother, a Bulgarian Holocaust survivor.   

Mia has one big credit: she played (star character) Jenny Schecter, the only Jewish character in the hit Showtime series “The ‘L’ Word” (2004-2009). The Jenny character was controversial. Blogs were filled with debates about Jenny “doings”.

Set-Up on Secret: In “L Word”, Kirshner was very pretty. She had strong face bones and a “cute” lithe body. In “Lights”, I saw a different person. Her face seemed blown up—puffy. Her body was also “puffed up”.

Of course, like ‘regular’ people, actors sometimes change a lot physically. But Kirshner’s change was really odd. I “Googled” Kirshner and found out that in September 2022 she wrote on Instagram that she was now completely “cancer-free”. She had never disclosed, previously, that she had cancer.

I have to assume that the cancer treatment had side effects that included changes to her face and body—and I am guessing her cancer was detected some between 2017 and 2019. Kirshner had a recurring role as Spock’s mother in “Star Trek Discovery”. In a 2017 episode, she looked like the “L Word” Mia. In 2019, her face was puffed-up.

I managed to find a recent photo of Kirshner. It was taken, last fall, at a facility for children with cancer. The photo showed Kirshner with her arm around a child. It wasn’t a great photo, but it seemed to me that the pretty face she had on the “L Word” had returned.

All this made me happy for her and her parents. This is the first time a movie turned me into a “health detective.”


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