Nate Bloom blogs on this week's Jews in the News.
Troubled Jewish Family, Cannibals, Fun Stuff, Rothschilds
“Fleishman is in Trouble” is an 8-episode mini-series that began streaming on Nov. 17 on FX/Hulu. It is based on the novel of the same name by NY Times journalist STEPHANIE “TAFFY” BRODESSER-AKNER, 46. The novel and the series are about a just-divorced couple. It was a bitter divorce. The couple are Toby Fleishman, a medical doctor (JESSE EISENBERG, 39), and Rachel (Claire Danes), a successful talent agent.
Their couple’s two best friends (who are Jewish), are quite important characters. The friends are SETH (ADAM BRODY, 42) and LIBBY (LIZZY CAPLAN, 40). JOSH RADNOR, 48, plays Libby’s Jewish husband.
Early in the novel/series, Rachel disappears, leaving Toby with their two children. We see Toby trying to juggle his kids, new women; and his job. In the midst of all this, Toby has a revelation: his wife’s disappearance is tied to things that happened in their marriage that he has never honestly faced.
“Bones and All” opens in theaters on Nov. 23. It is not for everyone. Based on a best-selling novel of the same name, the film follows cannibalistic lovers, Maren (a woman) and Lee, as they embark on a road trip across Reagan-era America. TIMOTHEE CHALAMET, 26, plays Lee. MICHAEL STUHLBERG, 54, has a large supporting role.
You might call this film “high art horror”. It has an A-list star (Chalamet) and a top European director. “Bones” got very good reviews following a showing at the recent Venice Film Festival.
Well, after that, some light stuff. First, there is “Wednesday”, an original Netflix series. The first season (all of it) will premiere on Nov. 23 (8 episodes). It focuses on Wednesday, the very memorable young daughter in the “Adams Family” TV show and movies.
The Adams TV show and movies didn’t have much of a Jewish actor presence. Yes, Carolyn Jones, who co-starred as Morticia Adams in the TV show, converted to Judaism when she married future mega-producer AARON SPELLING. But she stopped practicing when they split in 1964 (the same year the TV show began). The two movies had, successively, two Jewish actresses play the part of Grandmama Adams (the late JUDITH MALINA and CAROL KANE, now 70).
I was peeved when I saw that not a single Hebrew actor was in the large cast of “Wednesday”. Then I saw that “someone” named KAYLA ALPERT produced the show and wrote (alone) three of the episodes. I figured she was Jewish. Every Alpert I ever heard of was Jewish. Some public record checking revealed that her late parents were Jewish. Her mother arrived in the US, from Israel, when she was 10 (1956).
A little research revealed that Alpert, 52, is a Harvard grad and has been a comedic jack-of-trades for decades—producing and writing sit-coms.
The Rothschilds are the most famous “Jewish” family in the world and their still great wealth makes them the subject of inane and dangerous anti-Semitic conspiracy theories (such as Marjorie Tyler Greene’s 2018 claim that they caused California fires via space lasers they control.)
But how Jewish are the Rothschilds, today? I began looking into this when I “got into” the background of actress KYLE RICHARDS, 52, a convert to Judaism. Her sister is the (Catholic) mother of Paris and Nicky Hilton. Nicky married (2014) James Rothschild, who is active in the family’s finance business. James’ father was AMSCHEL ROTHSCHILD (1955-1996), who was also active in the “family business”. Amschel’s father was VICTOR ROTHSCHILD, the 3rd (British) Baron Rothschild. (Whoever has this title is the most prominent British Rothschild).
Victor’s first wife converted to Judaism and she was the mother of NATHANIEL ROTHSCHILD, now 86, the 4th Baron Rothschild (Nathaniel’s late wife, the mother of his children, was not Jewish and she didn’t “convert in”).
Amschel, who did help Jewish charities, is the son of Victor’s second, non-Jewish wife (who didn't convert in). Amschel’s widow, James’ mother, is a member of the famous (Irish Protestant) Guinness family (banking and beer).
Serena Guinness, another "beer family" member, is the current wife of the famous playwright TOM STOPPARD, 85. The couple were guests at the Nicky/James wedding. As you may know, Stoppard’s play, “Leopoldstadt”, is now a hit on Broadway and in London. The play follows a wealthy Austrian Jewish family (1899-1955) as they assimilate into the Christian world or outright “convert-out”.
I have to think that Stoppard was inspired, a bit, by seeing the “one quarter” Jewish James Rothschild marrying a Catholic Hilton.
I could go on. But the bottom line appears to me that both the British and French branches of the Rothschilds are rapidly “assimilating out”. "Lesser" members are often getting married in churches.