The Golden Globes and a special 20th birthday

Golden Globe nominees include (from left) Joaquin Phoenix, Scarlett Johansson, Beanie Feldstein, Noah Baumbach, Randy Newman and Peter Morgan. The Golden Globes air Sunday, Jan. 5.


Golden Globes guide for the tribe


The 2020 Golden Globe awards will air on NBC at 7 p.m. Jan. 5. This is a very good year for Jewish nominees. The very funny and very acerbic Ricky Gervais hosts. You may recall that when he hosted in 2016, Gervais skewered Mel Gibson in a joke that referenced Gibson’s notorious 2006 anti-Semitic remarks.

What follows are the Jewish nominees in the various categories for which they were nominated:

ACTING: Lead actor, drama film: JOAQUIN PHOENIX, 45, “Joker” ; Lead actress, drama film: SCARLETT JOHANSSON, 35, “Marriage Story”; Lead actress, comedy film: BEANIE FELDSTEIN, 26, “Booksmart”; Lead actor, TV comedy series: MICHAEL DOUGLAS, 75, “The Kominsky Method” and BEN PLATT, 26, “The Politician,” and PAUL RUDD, 50, “Living with Yourself”; Lead actress, comedy series: NATASHA LYONNE, 40, “Russian Doll”; Lead actress: mini-series/TV movie: JOEY KING, 20, “The Act”; Lead actor, TV mini-series/movie: SACHA BARON COHEN, 48, “The Spy” (he played Israeli Mossad agent ELI COHEN); Supporting actor, TV series/mini-series/TV film: ALAN ARKIN, 85, “The Kominsky Method” and HENRY WINKLER, 74, “Barry.” Supporting actress, TV series/mini-series/TV film: PATRICIA ARQUETTE, 51, “The Act.”

 FYI: Arquette, Phoenix, and Johansson are children of Jewish mothers and non-Jewish fathers. The latter two identify as Jewish, although they are virtually secular. Arquette is secular and doesn’t identify as anything in a religious sense.



 Director, film (any genre): SAM MENDES, 54, “1917”  and TODD PHILLIPS, 49, “Joker”; Screenplay, film: NOAH BAUMBACH, 50, “Marriage Story” ; Original film score: RANDY NEWMAN, 76, “Marriage Story” (note: Randy’s first cousin, Thomas Newman, who was raised in his mother’s Christian faith, is also nominated for best score).BEST FILM: The best film and best TV awards are given to the principal producers. My practice is to note if a “best” nominee has a Jewish director or writer. Often, they are nominated producers, too. Best drama film: “1917,” Sam Mendes (directed/wrote/produced) and “Marriage Story,” Noah Baumbach (directed/wrote/produced) and “Todd Phillips (directed, co-wrote and produced.  The “Joker” co-writer is STEVE SILVER, 60ish); Best animated film “The Lion King,” JON FAVREAU, 54 (director, producer. The “Lion King” screenplay was written by JEFF NATHANSON, 54).  Best comedy/musical film: “Jo Jo Rabbitt,” TAIKA WAITITI, 44 (directed/wrote/co-starred).  

 Special notes: Baumbach’s father is Jewish and he identifies as Jewish. Mendes’ mother was Jewish and he’s secular. My inclusion of Waititi is unusual. All the other nominees listed here have at least one Jewish parent and all were raised Jewish or secular. In common terms, Waititi is Jewish (his maternal great grandfather). However, both he and his mother (whose maiden name is “Cohen”) identify as Jewish and “Jo Jo Rabbitt” is an anti-Nazi film. What really moved me was a Tweet he sent just before “Jo Jo” opened. Waititi plays Hitler in his film. He tweeted: “What better way to insult Hitler than having him portrayed by a Polynesian Jew?”


BEST TV AWARDS (except mini-series): Best TV drama series: “The Crown,” PETER MORGAN, 56 (created series, produced and wrote); Best comedy/musical TV series: “The Kominsky Method,” CHUCK LORRE, 67 (writer, producer, series creator) and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” AMY SHERMAN-PALLADINO, 54 (series creator, writer, producer); and “The Politician,” BRAD FALCHUK, 54 (series co-creator and producer). Note: Morgan’s German Jewish fled to England. His mother wasn’t Jewish. Morgan is secular.

Best TV mini-series: All five nominated series have a Jewish connection.  “Chernobyl,” CRAIG MAZIN, 48 (series creator, writer, producer); “Fosse/Verdon,” STEVEN LEVENSON, 35 (co-created and co-wrote series); “Unbelievable,” AYELET WALDMAN, 54, and MICHAEL CHABON, 56 (this wife-husband team co-produced and co-wrote the series); Catch-22,” GRANT HESLOV, 56 (co-producer and co-director); “Loudest Voice in the Room,” and GABRIEL SHERMAN, 40 (produced series, wrote some episodes); Note: Sherman wrote the book his series was based upon and “Catch 22” is based on a novel by the late JOSEPH HELLER.


Celebrating a 20th birthday

NBC will air the special “The Paley Center Salutes Law & Order: SVU” at 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 2. The series is now in its 20th season.  I expect that RICHARD BELZER, 75, will appear on the special. He played the (Jewish) police detective John Munch for the first 15 “SVU” seasons. Before “SVU,” Belzer played Munch in seven seasons of the series “Homicide: Life on the Street.”  The Belzer character was based on JAY LANDSMAN, a real-life Jewish police officer.