The nominations for the 2017 Academy Awards include two Jewish actors, both of whom will be vying for an Oscar in the top acting categories.
Jerusalem-born actress Natalie Portman received a best actress nomination nod for her portrayal of former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy in the film “Jackie,” while Andrew Garfield was nominated for Best Lead Actor for his performance in “Hacksaw Ridge.”
There is a Jewish connection for “La La Land,” which snagged a “Titanic”-tying 14 Academy Award nominations, including best picture, director, actor and actress.
The songs in the film are written by Jewish composer Justin Hurwitz, who was roommates with director Damien Chazelle at Harvard. The lyrics are written by Benj Pasek, who is Jewish, and Justin Paul. Chazelle’s parents are Catholic, but they enrolled him in Hebrew school for four years when they became dissatisfied with their church Sunday school.
Mel Gibson, who is remembered in the Jewish community for his anti-Semitic tirade during a 2006 traffic stop, was nominated for best director for his film “Hacksaw Ridge.”
The Israeli film “Sand Storm” failed to make the cut last month for the nine semifinalists out of 85 in the best foreign language film category.
The 2017 Academy Awards ceremony will take place on February 26 at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles.