Jewish film contenders garner Oscar nominations


LOS ANGELES (JTA) — With “The King’s Speech” garnering 12 nods, royalty led the Oscar nomination parade, but Jewish contenders had their shining moments.

Three of the Best Picture nominations for Academy Awards had Jewish producers: Scott Rudin for “The Social Network”; Ethan and Joel Coen for "True Grit"; and Mike Medavoy for “The Black Swan.”

Jesse Eisenberg was nominated for Best Actor for his portrayal of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in “Social Network,” which received eight nominations.

Golden Globe winner Natalie Portman, an Israel native, was a Best Actress pick for her role as a tortured ballerina in “Black Swan.”

Hailee Steinfeld, who has a Jewish father, was nominated in the Best Supporting Actress category. She played the 14-year-old hero of “True Grit,” which garnered 10 nominations.

The Best Director category included the Coen brothers for “True Grit” and Darren Aronofsky for “Black Swan.”

Among foreign language films, Israel’s entry, “The Human Resources Manager,” was eliminated early on, but Susanne Bier, an outspokenly Jewish director, won a nod for Denmark’s “In a Better World.”

Israel’s pride received some balm with the nomination of the short documentary “Strangers No More,” which is set in Tel Aviv’s Bialik-Rogozin School, and was made by American filmmakers Kirk Simon and Karen Goodman.

As usual, Jewish writers did exceedingly well: Aaron Sorkin for “Social Network” and the Coen brothers for “True Grit” were named for their adapted screenplays.

Nominations for best original screenplay went to David Seidler for “The King’s Speech,” and Lisa Cholodenko with Stuart Blumberg for “The Kids Are Alright.”

Oscar winners will be announced Feb. 27 at Hollywood’s Kodak Theatre.

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