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The Schmooze

Golden Globe nominations foretell big wins for subsequent moviefilms — maybe

The 2021 Golden Globes should be Sacha Baron Cohen’s big day.

The British actor, possibly the only person Jewish enough to dress up as an antisemitic stereotype without getting smacked down by the ADL, received two big nods from the awards program. He could snag a Best Supporting Actor award for his role in the Aaron Sorkin film “The Trial of the Chicago 7.” And his prosthetic schnozz in “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” earned him a Best Actor nomination. Baron Cohen’s brainchild could see a lot of play: It’s up for Best Motion Picture in the comedy category, and cinematic newcomer Maria Bakalova, who arguably stole the show as Borat’s daughter Tutar, has been tapped for best actress.

But will Baron Cohen really be the big Jewish winner at this year’s Golden Globes? He has some competition, and it comes from a very unexpected corner: “Emily in Paris.”

Yes, the Netflix show everyone loves to hate. (And, apparently, to binge-watch.) Yes, the ten-part confirmation of every stereotype about millennials, Americans abroad, and Paris. The show is up for Best Television Series in the comedy category and Jewish actress Lily Collins, who gave the show what little verve it had as the titular Emily, could take home a Best Actress award.

It’s so astonishing to see “Emily in Paris” included in the lineup at all (especially while the genre-bending “I May Destroy You,” which everyone should watch immediately, was snubbed) that it doesn’t seem like a stretch to predict it will win. Even if it doesn’t, Collins could still see her work lauded. She has a supporting role in “Mank,” the biopic of “Citizen Kane” screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz that garnered six nominations (albeit none for her personally).

Besides Collins and Baron Cohen, there are plenty of Jewish stars and shows contending for accolades at the awards, which will be held on February 28.

Israeli actress Shira Haas was nominated for Best Actress in the limited series category for her role in “Unorthodox,” the Netflix miniseries depicting (accurately or not, depending on who you asked) life in Brooklyn’s Satmar Hasidic communities. The show itself is up for Best Limited Series.

“Unorthodox” is competing against “The Undoing,” an HBO thriller about a murder in a posh Upper East Side community. While the series is based on “You Should Have Known,” an extremely Jewishly-inflected whodunnit by Jean Hanff Korelitz, the Yiddishkeit went by the wayside during adaptation, with showrunner David E. Kelley setting the scene in a WASP-y enclave instead. Another unexpectedly Jew-y contender in that category is “Normal People,” a moody Irish drama about teenage love directed by Lenny Abrahamson.

When it comes to comedy, Collins also has some Jewish competition. For Best Actress in the comedy category, she’s up against Jane Levy, the long-underrated star of “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist.” Meanwhile, “Emily in Paris” is contending for Best Series in the comedy category with “Schitt’s Creek,” which already cleaned up big at the 2020 Emmys. (Eugene and Daniel Levy, the father-son duo at the heart of the comedy, are up for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor, respectively.)

“The Life Ahead,” a Holocaust film starring Sophia Loren, was nominated for best Foreign Language Film. We had, um, mixed feelings about Loren’s return to feature film, but we’ll be watching to see how it does. “The Trial of the Chicago 7” racked up five nominations, including Best Motion Picture in the drama category, Best Screenplay, and a Best Director nod for Aaron Sorkin. Kate Hudson was nominated for Best Actress for her role in “Music,” which generated controversy due to its portrayal of autism.

We won’t tell you who to root for, but we know there’s plenty for Jewish viewers to watch.

As Borat would say: “Very nice!”

Irene Katz Connelly is a staff writer at the Forward. You can contact her at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @katz_conn.

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