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Home » «The Fableman» Earns 7 Oscar Nods, WWI Anti-Nazi Story Nets 9 Nominations

«The Fableman» Earns 7 Oscar Nods, WWI Anti-Nazi Story Nets 9 Nominations

25 January 2023, Wednesday
The Fabelmans, Steven Spielberg's autobiographical drama about his Jewish roots, received seven Oscar nominations Tuesday morning, as expected.

A remake of an old movie once marked by the Nazis, a legal battle with an Israeli family and a documentary by the program director of the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival were also among the list of Jewish characters, stories and figures to get recognition.

Steven Spielberg's movie, despite a lackluster theatrical run, received nominations in the key categories of Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay at the Academy Awards, with the latter two nods going to Spielberg and Tony Kushner, the esteemed Jewish playwright and screenwriter. This directing nomination marks Spielberg's ninth total in the category, tying him with Martin Scorsese as the second-most-nominated director in Oscar history. Additionally, two actors who identify as Jewish, Judd Hirsch and Michelle Williams, were recognized with acting nominations. The latter also recently revealed her plans to raise her two children with Judaism.

The Fabelmans was a best picture nominee with powerful Jewish undertones. A psychological drama starring Cate Blanchett, titled Tár, was also among the contenders, collecting six nominations including for picture, actress and director; the movie incorporates Jewish mysticism into its narrative.

“All Quiet On The Western Front,” Netflix's recent take on Erich Maria Remarque's famed 1929 novel about the plight of German soldiers in World War I, has been nominated for nine Oscars, such as Best Picture, Best International Feature and Best Adapted Screenplay. The book was infamously banned and burnt by the rising Nazi Party due to its anti-war views, which they interpreted as a challenge to their goal of global supremacy.

When Lewis Milestone, a Jewish filmmaker, released the 1930 film adaptation of the book in Germany, Nazis led by Joseph Goebbels set off stink bombs, released mice into the theaters and labeled the movie a “Judenfilm” (or “Jewish film”). This public censorship campaign led Erich Maria Remarque, the book’s author, to renounce his German citizenship (even though he was mistakenly labeled as a Jew). As a result, Germany and Austria both banned the film from being shown in their countries.

In response to criticism from the Nazi regime, Jewish studio head Carl Laemmle Sr. agreed to heavily edit the movie to make it more commercially viable in Germany. Despite any controversy, the 1930 remake went on to win best picture that year.

Paramount, the distributor of the action blockbuster sequel "Top Gun: Maverick," is facing a copyright lawsuit from the family of Israeli journalist Ehud Yonay. His magazine article about a Navy fighter pilot school was the basis for the original “Top Gun” in 1986. In November, a judge rejected Paramount's attempt to dismiss the case, allowing the Yonay family's claims to go forward. Despite the legal battle, "Top Gun: Maverick" earned four nominations at this year's Oscars, including one for Best Picture.

Sarah Polley, the writer, director and actress, was nominated for best adapted screenplay for her drama "Women Talking," which was also nominated for best picture. The film is about a group of abused women in an isolated Mennonite community. Polley's Jewish biological father and the secret of his parentage, which she explored in her 2013 documentary "Stories We Tell," is also important to her.

Gail Berman, a Jewish film producer, was nominated for an Oscar for producing the best picture nominee “Elvis.” Meanwhile, Darren Aronofsky and Ari Handel, two Jewish producing partners, also earned a best picture nomination for “The Whale.” Aronofsky directed the movie, which stars Brendan Fraser, who also received an Oscar nomination for his performance. Fraser plays a morbidly obese English professor.

Ana de Armas was nominated for a best actress award for her portrayal of Marilyn Monroe in Netflix’s “Blonde,” a real-life Jewish convert. Monroe had converted to Judaism in the 1950s and continued to practice the religion even after divorcing her husband, Jewish playwright Arthur Miller.

Jamie Lee Curtis, daughter of the late Golden Age Hollywood actor Tony Curtis, has achieved her first-ever Oscar nomination for her role in the sci-fi comedy “Everything Everywhere All At Once.” In the movie, she plays a sinister tax officer. Fellow nominee Stephanie Hsu, known to fans of the Jewish TV series “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” as Mei Lin, a Chinese restaurant owner who gets together with co-lead Joel Maisel, is rumored to convert to Judaism in the upcoming fifth season.

The stop-motion mockumentary “Marcel The Shell With Shoes On” scored an Oscar nomination for best animated feature, thanks in part to the help of Jewish actress Jenny Slate. Slate co-wrote the feature with ex-husband Dean Fleischer-Camp, who directed; additionally, she provided the voice for the lead role of Marcel. Although Slate did not make it as a producer on the nominees’ list, her contribution to the film was still invaluable.

Nan Goldin, an outsider artist, is favored to win a Best Documentary Feature nomination for her portrait, “All The Beauty And The Bloodshed.” The film chronicles Goldin's activism against opioid manufacturers the Sackler family, and sheds light on her childhood with Jewish parents and emotionally abusive family life, which she left in her teens. Both Goldin and the Sacklers are Jewish.

The documentary short category saw the second nomination in a row for Jewish filmmaker Jay Rosenblatt. His work, “How Do You Measure A Year”, tracks many birthdays of his daughter Ella. Rosenblatt is currently the program director at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival.

Meanwhile, veteran Polish filmmaker Jerzy Skolimowski earned a nomination in the international feature category for his drama “EO”. The story of the film is told from the perspective of a donkey. Skolimowski’s father was a member of the Polish Resistance and his mother, during World War II, hid a Jewish family in their house.

Jewish composer Justin Hurwitz, who won an Oscar for his work on “La La Land,” has been nominated again; this time for his score for the movie “Babylon,” which was directed by Damien Chazelle. Additionally, Jewish songwriter Diane Warren was nominated for her song “Applause” which is featured in the documentary “Tell It Like A Woman.” This marks Warren's 14th nomination overall and is her first competitive Oscar nomination, although she was awarded an honorary Academy Award last year.
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