Jews in the News: Jake Gyllenhaal, Julianna Margulies & Stephen Sondheim

Globe Time

The Golden Globe awards will be broadcast live on NBC on Sunday, Jan. 11, at 5PM.  Here are the Jewish nominees: Acting, film- Best actor, drama: JAKE GYLLENHAAL, 34, “Nightcrawler”; Best actor, comedy/musical: JOAQUIN PHOENIX, 40, “Inherent Vice”; Best supporting actress, drama, comedy, or musical: PATRICIA ARQUETTE, 46, “Boyhood”; Acting, TV-- Best actor, drama: LIEV SCHREIBER, 47, “Ray Donovan”; Best actress, drama: JULIANNE MARGULIES, 48, “The Good Wife”; Best actor, comedy/musical: JEFFREY TAMBOR, 70, “Transparent.” Tambor plays a transsexual Jewish character, Mort/Maura Pfefferman; Best (TV) actress, comedy/musical: LENA DUNHAM, 28, “Girls”, Best actress, mini-series/TV movie: MAGGIE GYLLENHAAL, 37, for playing the Jewish character Baroness Nessa Stein in “The Honourable Woman”.

Best film screenplay: GRAHAM MOORE, 32, for “The Imitation Game”. Best score: HANS ZIMMER, 57, “Interstellar”. One of the most honored film composers of our time, Zimmer was born and raised in Germany, is the son of a German Jewish mother who escaped to England in 1939 and returned after the war. He “outed” himself as Jewish on German TV in 1999, but this fact was not widely known until he talked to the Jewish Journal of Los Angeles last May. He told them, “The Jews are my people.”; Best Original Film Song: “Mercy Is” (“Noah”), Patti Smith and LENNY KAYE, 67: and Opportunity" (“Annie”), GREG KURSTIN, 45, Sia Furler, and WILL GLUCK, 42. Gluck directed “Annie” and co-wrote the screenplay.

Best Foreign Language film: “Ida” (Denmark/Poland). Plot: During the 1960s, Anna, a novice nun, finds out from a relative that her parents were Jewish and died in the Holocaust. She sets out to learn more. “Ida” was directed and co-written by Paweł Pawlikowski, a Pole who learned as an adult that his paternal grandmother was Jewish and that she died in the camps. Also in this category: “Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem (Israel). In the words of “Variety”: “This expertly written, brilliantly acted film documents the painful five-year process for one [Israeli] woman attempting to obtain a divorce [in Israel].” The film was co-written and co-directed by RONIT ELKABETZ, 50, and her brother, SHLOMI ELKABETZ, 46. They are Israelis of Moroccan Jewish ancestry.

The best film and TV series awards go to the principal producers. Here noted are “best of” nominees with a strong Jewish connection, like a director or writer. Best film, drama: “Foxcatcher”, about the murder of Olympic wrestler Dave Schultz. Directed by BENNETT MILLER and co-written by DAN FUTTERMAN, both 47; and “The Imitation Game” (Moore); Best film, comedy or musical: “Into the Woods”, music by STEPHEN SONDHEIM, 84, and screenplay by JAMES LAPINE, 65;  Best TV drama: “Affair”, co-created/written by HAGAI LEVI, 51; and “Games of Thrones”, co-created and written by DAVID BENIOFF, 44, and D. B. WEISS, 43; and “The Good Wife”, co-created/written by MICHELLE KING, 52;  Best TV series, musical or comedy: “Girls” (Dunham); and “Transparent”, created/written by JILL SOLOWAY, 49. Best mini-series/TV movie: “The Normal Heart”, screenplay by LARRY KRAMER, 79; and “Olive Kitteridge”, directed by LISA CHOLODENKO, 50.

Short Takes

Correction: In a previous column, I said that Dave Schultz was murdered on the Pittsburgh-area estate of John DuPont. The estate was near Philadelphia. Also, I said I was unsure about the religious identification of the Schultz brothers, whose father was Jewish. I now am virtually certain that they were not raised Jewish. I’m sure that Dave’s brother, Mark, became a Mormon in 1991.

Update:  the Bravo series, “Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce”, premiered on Dec. 2, and, as noted in a prior column, it’s surprisingly good. Abby and Jake McCarthy, played by LISA EDELSTEIN, 49, and PAUL ADELSTEIN, 45, are the show’s lead characters. With a name like “McCarthy”, it was reasonable to assume they weren’t a Jewish couple. Well, in the Dec. 19 episode, the “divorcing McCarthys” have a spat at the court mediator’s office. Abby says that she’s Jewish and she wants their two children to continue to be raised Jewish. Jake replies he has no problem with the kids’ religious upbringing. Abby then says that she wants things to be clear because Jake is “half Jewish” (adding that his mother isn’t Jewish). He gets angry; pointing out his “half status” would come as a surprise to his parents, who were at his bar mitzvah. Later, at their home, she sincerely apologizes to Jake and says “you’re a full Jew.”  Near the end of the show, Jake moves out and Abby celebrates Friday night Shabbat with the kids. (It’s still unclear why Jake’s last name is “McCarthy”).


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