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Film & TV

The BAFTA Awards Favor ‘The Favourite’ And These Jewish Films

In a busy awards season, it’s easy to forget the BAFTAs. But the British Academy of Film and Television Arts has not forgotten the Jewish people.

The Academy’s 2019 Film Awards list was released Tuesday. The full list is here, but below are the (mostly) Jewish highlights.

“The Favourite,” Yorgos Lanthimos’ comedy about Queen Anne’s court is the awards’ evident, well, favorite. Featuring a delightfully conniving Rachel Weisz, the film earned the British-American thespian a Best Supporting Actress nom alongside co-star Emma Stone. It’s also up for Best Director, Film, Outstanding British Film, Best Actress for Olivia Colman and six other awards including Original Screenplay. That’s 12 nominations, a pretty good spread.

Also in the Best Film category is Spike Lee’s “BlackkKlansman,” about a black policeman who goes undercover in the Colorado Klan with the help of a Jewish colleague (honorary Jew Adam Driver, nominated for Best Supporting Actor). Lee is also nominated for Best Director and Adapted Screenplay with co-writers Kevin Willmott, Charlie Wachtel and David Rabinowitz. Terence Blanchard’s music for the film is being recognized, too.

Alfonso Cuarón’s “Roma” is nominated seven times as well for Best Film, Director, Film Not in English, Original Screenplay and Cinematography (Cuarón was behind both), Editing and Production Design.

“Green Book” directed by Peter Farrelly is nominated for Best Film, Leading Actor for Viggo Mortensen (who, strangely, played Freud once), Supporting Actor for Mahershala Ali and Original Screenplay.

“A Star is Born,” an American IP with deep Jewish roots is pegged for Best Film. Of course there’s more, with another nod for Director and Leading Actor for Bradley Cooper. Cooper’s also nominated for Adapted Screenplay with Eric Roth and Will Fetters. The musical drama is also nominated for Sound and Original Music, which includes the song “Shallow” by producer Mark Ronson, Lady Gaga, Andrew Wyatt and Anthony Rossomando.

Bryan Singer’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” is nominated for Outstanding British Film. The embattled director was not nominated for his work on the film (which is reported to have been incomplete), but Rami Malek was nominated for Lead Actor for his role as Queen front man Freddie Mercury.

Lynne Ramsay’s “You Were Never Really Here” based on the book by quirky novelist Jonathan Ames and starring eccentric actor Joaquin Phoenix is nominated for Outstanding British Film. The gritty movie is not to be confused with the similar sounding biopic “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” That film, directed by Marielle Heller got a Leading Actress nod for Melissa McCarthy’s portrayal of Jewish forger Lee Israel, a Supporting Actor nom for Richard E. Grant and Adapted Screenplay for Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty’s script.

Heroin-chic heartthrob Timothée Chalamet is nominated for Supporting Actor for his work as a meth-addicted youth in “Beautiful Boy.” “RBG” about the liberal lion Supreme Court justice and “Three Identical Strangers” concerning Jewish triplets separated at birth are nominated for Documentary.

Pawel Pawlikowski, who won a Foreign Film Oscar for his drama “Ida,” about a nun who discovers her Jewish identity, is nominated for Best Director, Film Not in English and Original Screenplay for his tragic romance “Cold War.” Oscar-winner Damien Chazelle’s Neil Armstrong biopic “First Man” was nominated for Supporting Actress for Claire Foy, Adapted Screenplay for Josh Singer’s script.

“Moonlight” director Barry Jenkins’ “If Beale Street Could Talk” is nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay, by Jenkins from James Baldwin’s novel. The period film is also under consideration for Best Original Music for Nicholas Britell’s score.

Only three films were nominated for Animated Feature. The picks include Brad Bird’s “Incredibles 2,” “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” directed by Bob Perischetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman (and featuring a Jewish Spider-Man) and Wes Anderson’s stop motion film “Isle of Dogs” which boasts Bob Balaban and Jeff Goldblum as chatty canines.

PJ Grisar is the Forward’s culture intern. He can be reached at [email protected].

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