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The Jews of Oscar

The 2015 Oscar nominations were announced today and of course a number of the nominees are Jews. Most are first time nominees.

In the best picture category where the Oscar goes to a movie’s producers, Nora Grossman, Ido Ostrowsky and Teddy Schwarzman were nominated for “The Imitation Game” (see trailer). The film is based on the true story of Alan Turing, who is played by Benedict Cumberbatch (nominated for best actor), who cracked the German Enigma code during World War II.

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Andrew Lazar is one of the producers of best picture Nominee “American Sniper.” The movie is about an American soldier serving in Afghanistan who is played by Bradley Cooper (nominated for best actor) and who is an army sniper.

Jason Blum is one of the producers of best picture nominee “Whiplash.” This movie tells the story of a 19-year-old music conservatory student who is determined to become a great jazz drummer, but must deal with a crazed teacher who uses humiliation and intimidation as education tactics.

In the best original screenplay category E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman were both nominated for writing “Foxcatcher.” The movie is based on a true story and stars Steve Carrel (also nominated for best actor) as wealthy wrestling enthusiast John du Pont who uses his own money to help train US Olympic wrestlers.

The most significant Jewish nominee by far this year is Patricia Arquette who was nominated for best actress in a supporting role for her performance in the movie “Boyhood.” In it she portrays a divorced mother struggling to make a life for herself and her two children.

This was one of the least surprising of all of this year’s nominees. The actress, whose mother is Jewish, already won a Golden Globe, won the best actress award from the New York Film Critics Circle and was named best supporting actress by both the San Francisco Film Critics and the Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association for her performance in “Boy”. Not bad for a woman who says that she hates having to audition.

The 87th Academy Awards ceremony will be broadcast live Sunday night February 22nd and be hosted by Neil Patrick Harris.

Good luck to all of the nominees.



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