It’s that time of year again. A day where millions of people tune into their TV and complain about the winners. No, I’m not talking about the Super Bowl (too soon?) I’m talking, of course, about the Oscars.
In honor of the most prestigious awards show known to man, here’s everything Jewish about the 89th Academy Awards set to hit the air Sunday Feb. 26 with red carpet coverage starting at 7:00 p.m. on ABC.
First up, we have Natalie Portman, nominated for best actress for her portrayal of Jackie O. in “Jackie.” The Israeli native has been nominated twice before this, for best supporting actress in “Closer” and for best actress in “Black Swan,” which she won. “Jackie” is part of the very small group of movies I didn’t get to see this year, but I’ve seen clips of her from the film, and I have to say she was quite the picture of Mrs. Kennedy. Unfortunately, despite her spot-on portrayal, I think we all know that Emma Stone is destined to take home the Oscar for “La La Land,” as she has won the Golden Globe and the SAG for this role.
Next is another “Jackie” nominee, Mica Levi, who is nominated for best original music score. This is her first time at the Academy Awards. Like I mentioned above, I haven’t seen “Jackie,” and I don’t know much about film scores in general. But, since Levi was nominated in the same category as the composer for “La La Land,” Justin Hurwitz, I don’t think she’ll take home the gold this year.
Screenwriter Allison Schroeder was nominated for best adapted screenplay for “Hidden Figures.” This is also a first nomination, and it was well deserved. “Hidden Figures” was filmed right here in Atlanta and all of the exterior scenes were filmed at Morehouse College, and the town scenes were filmed in Monroe. This was one of my favorite films of the year, and out of all the films nominated, I think it deserves it the most. However, “Moonlight” has been the talk of the town lately, and since it won Best Film at the Golden Globes, I think it has a higher shot at winning this category- especially since “La La Land” is in best original screenplay, which works in ‘Moonlight’s” favor.
Andrew Garfield, whose father is Jewish, is nominated for Best Actor for his amazing performance in “Hacksaw Ridge.” This is the first Oscar nomination for Garfield, and while I personally think that he deserves the award, I know in my heart it will either go to Casey Affleck for “Manchester by the Sea” or Ryan Gosling for “La La Land.” They both took home Golden Globes for best actor, Affleck in the motion picture drama category, and Gosling for motion picture musical or comedy. I’ve seen both, and if it’s between the two, I’d put my money on Gosling, especially since he’s a fan favorite, but I guess I’ll have to live in suspense until next week.
Another best actress nominee is Isabelle Huppert, who is also Jewish on her father’s side, nominated for the foreign film “Elle.” This is her first time being nominated for an Academy Award, and while she won the Golden Globe for best actress in a motion picture drama, I still think it’s going to Emma Stone.
Kenneth Lonergan, whose mother is Jewish is up for best director and best original screenplay, both for “Manchester by the Sea” and has been nominated previously for best original screenplay for “Gangs of New York” and “You Can Count on Me.” Once again I believe that La La Land will take center stage. Damien Chazelle won both best original screenplay and best directing at the Golden Globes, which is supposedly always indicative of what will win at the Academy Awards.
During the actual awards ceremony, only one Jew is set to present, and that is Scarlett Johansson, which is far less than the six Jewish presenters they had last year.
And last but not least, we can’t forget about the most important part of the night- the red carpet. The three most popular designers who are typically worn by the stars include fellow Jews Marc Jacobs, Zac Posen, and Ralph Lauren.
I don’t know if any of my predictions will come true, but here’s hoping they start nominating more Jews in the coming years. But that’s a different article.