Supporting Mila: What to watch and know this week in Jewish entertainment 


Credit: Searchlight Pictures

Dan Buffa, Special For The Jewish Light

Ever since the war in Ukraine broke out, actress Mila Kunis has taken on her greatest role yet: activist. One that could be called recurring due to the ferociousness of the war. Kunis and her partner, Ashton Kutcher, have donated time and money to the fight and deserve a mention on just about every website for their actions. One of the best ways for civilians to pay creatives back is to invest their time in the person’s work or sector of the arts.

Mila Kunis’ greatest cinema hits

If you were wanting to throw Kunis some of your time, here are a few of her film accomplishments to pass the time between spring’s first big appearance and the ever-sneaky presence of summer. Kunis, who is Jewish and has cited antisemitism as a reason for her move out of the Soviet Union and into the United States of America, has made her dent in Hollywood. Before Glenn Close entered “Tehran” on Netflix, she played Kunis’ mother in 2021’s “Four Good Days.”

Reviewed on this website yet forgotten by most film critics, it featured the younger actress as a recovering drug addict needing a few healthy days under her belt in order to be considered for life-saving medicine. That leaves her at odds with her loyal yet burnt-out mother, played in the film by Close with a resourceful force. It allowed Kunis to show her range to filmgoers, something that got lost after “Black Swan,” which is her other big movie moment.

Starring opposite Academy Award nominee Natalie Portman, Kunis was a rival gymnastic performer who enters an uncomfortable and catastrophic relationship with Portman’s lead performer. For a lighter side of the actress’s persona, find her in “Bad Moms,” a movie that you could say belonged to her and no one else. Leading a cast of fiery women including Kathryn Hahn and Jada Pinkett Smith, Kunis’s matriarch convinces her friends to find more liberation in their marriage and adventure and danger are found.

It’s easy-going entertainment, something that everybody needs with the war ongoing. Kunis has done her part and enough effort for many others, so show her some love and watch a little of her work.

Come get your award, Mr. Stewart

When it comes to honoring Jews for their lifelong work in arts, Jon Stewart is tasting a little of that joy. The veteran comic and entertainment host has never allowed his satirical eye in show business to go missing, and that landed him The Mark Twain Award for lifetime achievement in humor this year. No, he didn’t get this for co-starring and stealing a few scenes from Adam Sandler in “Big Daddy,” but for informing the public with intelligent conversation for many years on “Daily Show.” You could give his Apple TV Plus talk show a watch sometime if you found the time.

Stewart’s biggest public moment came in 2016 when he challenged the existence and power of political parties, revealing their true effect on public discourse and starting an important conversation. Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz may have found his start in comedy, but his thoughts and opinions on politics got him to where he is–accepting a prestigious award for his work.

The 2022 Mark Twain Prize ceremony will be broadcast on June 21 on PBS

HBO Max’s “Minx” worth tracking down

Did you know the first erotic magazine made for women came from a Jewish mind? A new HBO Max show details the efforts of Ophelia Lovibond’s Joyce, a young journalist who unwittingly stumbles into the porn industry by teaming up with a low-rent publisher to give the world something they didn’t already have. Female pornography was running wild and vibrantly already in the era “Minx” is set up, but the ladies had nothing to look at themselves. So, Joyce starts something designed for women to enjoy and finds unlikely allies and enemies in her journey. Co-starring Jake Johnson, it’s streaming on HBO Max.

Happy birthday, Hank!

One of Hollywood’s underrated funny men, Hank Azaria, turned 58 on April 25. Both of his grandparents were Sephardic Jews from Thessaloniki, and even they couldn’t see him becoming so well known for voicing a wisecracking bartender on an animated series. Azaria’s Moe doesn’t even crack the surface, however, of his funniest character to date: Jim Brockmire. Originally an IFC show and now available to watch on at least five streaming channels, the series followed a burned-out baseball announcer named Brockmire, who attempts to resurrect his career with a minor league team. Happy 58th, Hank.