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Arts & Culture There Are a Few Nominations, but It’s a Down Year for Jews at Oscars

January 28, 2004
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Jewish talent and themes scored only modestly in the Oscar nominations announced this week.

However, there was recognition Tuesday for the critically acclaimed “House of Sand and Fog” by Vadim Perelman, a 39-year-old native of Kiev, Ukraine, in his first feature film.

Although Perelman did not make the best director category, the film won three nominations: Ben Kingsley, who told this reporter that he had a Jewish grandparent on his mother’s side, was nominated for best actor honors for his role as a proud Iranian immigrant.

Shohreh Aghdashioo, playing his wife, was nominated for best supporting actress, and James Horner was nominated for the musical score.

The documentary feature category, which has been traditionally hospitable to Jewish and Holocaust themes, includes two nominees with Jewish ties:

“Capturing the Friedmans,” about a highly dysfunctional Jewish family in New York, and “My Architect,” chronicling the professional triumphs and unorthodox personal lifestyle of American architect Louis Kahn, created by his son Nathaniel Kahn and Susan R. Behr.

“American Splendor,” about Jewish comic-book cult favorite Harvey Pekar, earned an adopted screenplay nomination for writers Robert Pulcini and Shari Springer Behr.

Among foreign-language films, neither Israel’s “Nina’s Tragedies” nor the Palestinian entry “Divine Intervention” made the cut.

The Oscars will be announced Feb. 29.

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