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February 27, 2004 - Image 42

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2004-02-27

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Oscar Preview

won two Oscars for Titanic (Best Song and Best
Score). His late father, Harry Horner, an Austrian
immigrant, won two Oscars for art direction.
Competing with Horner in the Best Score cate-
gory are Howard Shore, Danny Elfman and
Thomas Newman.
Shore is nominated for Lord of the Rings: The Return
of the King (he's also up for Best Song as the co-writer
of "Into the West"). Shore, who attended Jewish sum-
From his fights with nosy reporters in the 1980s to
NATE BLOOM
mer camp in Canada with Lorne Michaels, the cre-
his
current
vocal
opposition
to
the
Iraq
war,
Sean
Penn
Special to the Jewish News
has remained a controversial figure. But there's no ques- ator of Saturday Night Live, was the first musical direc-
tor of SNL. He won the 2001
tion he is a great actor now at the top of his game.
he Oscars will be handed out a month
Oscar for Best Score for the
Penn, who already won the Golden Globe for
earlier than usual this year — on
first film of the Rings trilogy.
Mystic River, in which he plays a man imbued with
Sunday, Feb. 29. But unlike previous
Elfman, 50, who is
an
all-consuming
rage
to
find
his
daughter's
killer
years, it's a fairly thin roster in terms of
described
as being of "Russian-
plays
his
Emmy
Rossum
(17-year-old
Jewish
actress
Jewish Oscar nominees.
Polish Jewish" background in a
daughter), easily could haiie snared another Oscar
The good news is that Billy Crystal is back host-
Village Voice profile, started as
nomination for his role in 21 Grams.
ing the show after a three-year hiatus.
an
avant-garde rock musician,
Competing with Penn for the Best Actor Oscar is
Crystal recently told the Toronto Star he missed a
playing
in the band Oingo-
nominated
for
his
performance
as
Sir
Ben
Kingsley,
great comic moment the year Schindler's List won.
Boingo
with
his brother,
House
of
Sand
and
Fog.
an
Iranian
immigrant
in
Sitting at home watching the ceremonies, he said he
Richard
Elfinan..
He first
Kingsley
may
have
had
only
one
Jewish
grand-
-;couldn't believe it when a woman named Ewa (pro-
attracted
notice
as
a composer
parent, but there aren't many actors who've
nounced Eva) Braun won the first Oscar the film
James Horner
for
Tim
Burton
films,
includ-
amassed such a record of bravura performances as a
received that evening, for set direction.
Batman.
and
ing
Beetlejuice
Jewish
character.
He added, "I sat there and went, 'Oh,
This year, he is nominated for his score for Burton's
His best-known
no. This can't be possible.' I had a million
Big
Fish. His previous nominations were for his scores
Jewish
character,
lines flying through my head." (Eva Braun
Men
in Black and Good Will Hunting.
for
of course, is Itzhak
also was the name of Hitler's mistress.)
Newman,
48, who is nominated for his score for
Stern in Schindler's
This Oscar season is memorable as the
(his seventh nomination), is the son
Finding
Nemo
but
Sir
Ben
List,
year in which the non-Jewish Clint
of
legendary
film
composer Alfred Newman, the
also
played
Nazi-
Eastwood uttered the most surprising
winner
of
nine
Oscars.
Newman's uncles were corn-
hunter
Simon
"Oscar-related Jewish remark" since the
Lionel
Newman. Composer Randy
Emil
and
posers
Wiesenthal in a
(non-Jewish) Bob Hope said, "Oscar time,
is
his
first
cousin.
Newman
1989 TV film;
or as it is known in my house: Passover."
Randy Newman's father, who was &doctor, was
biblical figures
Eastwood, who directed the Best Picture
the
only one of the Newman brothers to marry a
Joseph
and
Moses
nominated Mystic River, was interviewed in
Jewish
woman and, according to a recent profile of
in
TV
biopics;
the Jan. 23 issue of USA Weekend, just
Randy,
his uncles' children were all raised in their
Otto
Frank,
before the Oscar nominations were
mother's
faiths.
Anne's father, in
announced.
Ross,
47, is nominated for Best Adapted
Gary
the 2001 ABC
When asked about the possibility of
Seabiscuit, which he also directed.
Screenplay
for
Anne
miniseries
nominations for his flick, he responded,
The
picture's
producers,
including Ross, are nomi-
and
gang-
Frank,
"Kineahora! Kineahora!'
nated
for
the
Best
Picture
Oscar.
ster
Meyer
Lansky
The reporter retorted, "Pardon?"
Ross
grew
up
a
horseracing
fanatic, and his not-
in the film Bugsy.
66%
Eastwood said, "That's a Jewish expres-
very-religious
parents
gave
him
a trip to Santa Anita
In 2001, the
sion meaning 'Don't talk about it. It's bad
Vadim Perelman's "House of Sand and Fog,"
racetrack
in
lieu
of
a
bar
mitzvah.
This is Ross' third
his directorial debut, is up for three Oscars. Jewish Journal of
luck.' Eastwood then laughed.
screenwriting
nomination.
Previously,
he was nomi-
Greater
Los
Angeles
("Kineahora" — USA Weekend's spelling of
(a
nomination
he
shared
with Anne
Big
nated
for
reported
that
"Kingsley,
born
Krishn&Bhanji,
is
the
the Yiddish term — usually translates as "May the
Dave.
Steven's
sister)
and
Spielberg,
son of an Indian physician and an English
evil eye stay away.")
Ross
attended
the
same
Los
Angeles
fashion model whose parentage was partly
high school as cinematographer John
Russian Jewish. Born out-of-wedlock, his
Schwartzman, whom he tapped for
Feature Film Nominees
mother was loath to speak of her background.
Seabi suit. Nominated for Best
"The
actor
did
not
learn
of
the
Shoah
The evil eye did keep away from Mystic River — it
Cinematography
for his work on the
until
he
saw
a
Holocaust-themed
documen-
received six Oscar nominations, including Best
film,
Schwartzman
is the son of the late
Picture, Best Director and Best Actor, for Sean Penn. tary that placed him in a state of 'deep,
Jewish
entertainment
lawyer Jack
Penn, 43, is the son of the late Leo Penn, a Jewish physical shock,' he said. Kingsley was only
and
has
credited the time
Schwartzman,
9, but he knew that someday he 'wanted to
actor and director who died in 1998. Leo's movie
he
spent
at
the
Santa
Anita
racetrack with
help
articulate
that
chorus
of
pain."
acting career was cut-off in the late 1940s when he
his
father
as
a
valuable
experience
in his
is
the
first
movie
House
of
Sand
and
Fog
was blacklisted. He kept busy as a stage actor and
Seabiscuit.
filming
of
directed
by
40-year-old
Russian
Jewish
turned to directing in the late '50s. He established
After his parents divorced, John's
immigrant Vadim Perelman (lie also co-
himself as a top TV director in the late '60s.
father
married non-Jewish actress Talia
OSS
Gary
R
wrote the film, but is not nominated in
Sean's mother, actress Eileen Ryan, was born a
Shire,
director Francis Ford Coppola's
either category). Perelman, long a successful
Catholic. According to one of Sean's brothers, the
sister,
and
John credits Coppola as an
TV
commercial
director,
left
Kiev
when
he
was
14.
Penn kids were "raised secular."
important mentor. John's younger half-brother is
The film's Oscar-nominated music is by Jewish
composer James Homer, 50, who is up for Best Score. actor Jason Schwartzman (Rushmore), who said in
Nate Bloom is the editor ofwww.jewhoo.com.
an interview that while his father was Jewish, he
This is Horner's sixth Oscar nomination. He

For your Sunday evening viewing pleasure, we round

up the Jewish nominees in the race for this year's Academy Awards.

T

2/27
2004

42

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