Your complete Jewish guide to the 2021 Golden Globes

Shira Haas, right, and Amit Rahav in “Unorthodox.”

By Nate Bloom

The Golden Globe awards, for excellence in TV and film, will be awarded on Sunday, Feb. 28 (airs at 7 p.m.).  Due to the pandemic, the Globes will be a virtual event. NORMAN LEAR, 98, the creator of many great TV shows, including “All in the Family,” will receive the Carol Burnett Award for “outstanding contributions to television.”

Unlike many years, there is no Jewish nominee in the film (drama) actor/actress categories (there are five nominees in all Globe categories). However, Gary Oldman is nominated for a best actor (drama) Globe for playing Jewish screenwriter HERMAN MANKIEWICZ in “Mank.” 

The best actor, comedy or musical film, category has two Jewish nominees: SACHA BARON COHEN (“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”) and ANDY SAMBERG, 42 (“Palm Springs”). Cohen played star character Borat, as well as co-writing the “mockumentary.” Samberg played an affable guy who finds himself living the same day over and over.

The best actress (musical/comedy film) nominees include KATE HUDSON, 41, who had a star role in “Music,” a film most critics disliked. She plays a reformed drug dealer who takes care of her autistic half-sister.

Baron Cohen, 49, is also nominated for best supporting actor (film) for playing ‘60s radical ABBIE HOFFMAN in “The Trial of the Chicago 7.” AARON SORKIN, 59, who wrote and directed “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” is the sole Jewish nominee in the best (film) director and best (film) screenplay categories.

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Composer JAMES NEWTON HOWARD, 69, is nominated for best original score (“News of the World”) and DIANE WARREN, 64, is up for a Globe for co-writing the original song “Seen” for the film “The Life Ahead.” 

One nominee for the best animated film Globe, “Over the Moon,” has a poignant asterisk. It was written by AUDREY LEDERER WELLS, who died of cancer in 2018, at the age of 58. The film is dedicated to her. She also wrote “Under the Tuscan Sun” and “A Dog’s Purpose.”

Her late father, WOLFGANG LEDERER, an Austrian Jew, fled from the Nazis, joined the American army, and fought from D-Day until he was severely injured in early 1945. He was highly decorated and left the army as a major. The carnage of war led him to become a psychiatrist and many of his patients were Holocaust survivors.

A Holocaust survivor is the central character of “The Life Ahead,” a best foreign language film nominee. Sophia Loren plays a retired prostitute who is also a Jewish Holocaust survivor. She forms an unlikely friendship with a Muslim boy. This film got mixed reviews, unlike the 1977 film, “Madame Rosa,” which was based on the same novel by ROMAIN GARY. It won the Oscar for best foreign film and French actress SIMONE SIGNORET (whose father was Jewish) was, frankly, better than Loren in the same role.

“The Trial of the Chicago 7” is nominated for best drama film. It competes with “Mank” which, as I said, is about a “real” Jew. The director and screenwriter of “Mank” aren’t Jewish. There are eight important real-life Jewish characters in the film and no Jewish actors or actresses play them (Oy, you say? I agree).

The best film (musical or comedy) category has many more Jewish connections. “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” was, as I’ve noted, co-written by Baron Cohen. It was directed by JASON WOLINER, 40. Also nominated in this category are “Hamilton,” directed by THOMAS KAIL, 43; “The Prom,” a musical whose songs were written by co-written by MATTHEW SKLAR; and “Palm Springs,” directed by MAX BARBAKOW, 35.

There are no Jewish actresses nominated for best lead in a TV series. The best lead actor category has one nominee, Josh O’Connor, with an unusual Jewish backstory. He’s nominated for playing Prince Charles in “The Crown.” His maternal great-grandmother was Jewish and although he is, in common terms, 1/8 Jewish, he is a “halachic Jew.” I mention him because his domestic partner is MARGOT HAUER-KING, 30ish, the sister of hot British actor JONAH HAUER-KING, 25. I know these siblings are practicing Jews — so who knows where O’Connor will end up “religion-wise”?

JANE LEVY, 31, is nominated for best lead actress, comedy or musical (TV) for her turn in “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist.” I know her father is Jewish, and her mother is not. But she never talks about her Jewish ancestry or any religious practice. A Jewish actress, Israeli SHIRA HAAS, 25, is nominated for best performance in a mini-series or TV movie. She starred in “Unorthodox,” a series about a Hasidic woman who leaves her sect for the secular world.

DAN LEVY, 37, (Schitt’s Creek”) is nominated for best supporting actor in a series and JULIA GARNER, 27 (“Ozark”) vies for the same award in the actress category. Garner’s mother is Jewish, and Garner has described herself as Jewish several times. She won the 2019 and 2020 Emmy for this role. Levy’s father, EUGENE LEVY, 70 was also nominated for his work on “Schitt’s Creek,” in the best performance by an actor in a television series, musical or comedy.

The nominees for best mini-series include “The Queen Gambit.” which was written and directed by SCOTT FRANK, 60. This series about a female chess grandmaster was a monster ratings and critical hit for Netflix. Also in this category are “The Undoing,” a murder mystery, and “Unorthodox.” “The Undoing” is based on a novel by JEAN HANFF KORELITZ, 59, and it was directed by SUSANNE BIER, 60, a Danish Jew. “Unorthodox” was inspired by a memoir by DEBORAH FELDMAN, 34, once a member of a Hasidic sect. It was co-written by ANNA WINGER, 50.

The best TV drama series nominees include “The Crown,” which was created by, and is written by PETER MORGAN, 57. His Jewish father fled Nazi Germany for England. His mother isn’t Jewish. Also in this category is “The Mandalorian,” a Disney fantasy series created and directed by JON FAVREAU, 54.

The best musical or comedy series nominees include “Emily in Paris,” a light show about a Midwestern young woman who moves to Paris. It was created by DARREN STAR, 59, who also created ‘Beverly Hills, 90210” and “Sex and the City.”