Tuesday, December 1st 2020   |

Film & TV

Martin Scorsese’s ‘Casino’ is 25 years old. Here’s a primer on its Jewish protagonist and Hollywood’s other Jewish gangsters.

By STEVEN SILVER

(JTA) — “Casino,” Martin Scorsese’s examination of the mob’s control of Las Vegas in the 1960s and 70s, debuted in theaters on Nov. 22, 1995 — 25 years ago this past week. 

It may be a tick below “Goodfellas,” which came out just five years earlier, in terms of its reputation in the eyes of film historians. But the three-hour epic remains one of Scorsese’s most ambitious...

HBO adapts ‘Oslo,’ Tony Award-winning play about peace accords, into original film

(JTA) — HBO has begun production on a film adaptation of “Oslo,” the Tony Award-winning play about secret meetings before the Oslo Accords that nearly brought peace between Israel and the Palestinians in the 1990s.

The film, which will air next year, stars Andrew Scott (of “Fleabag” and “Black Mirror”) and Ruth Wilson (“The Affair,” “Mrs. Wilson”) as the Norwegian husband and wife diplomats who arranged covert negotiation sessions between...

7 especially Jewish ‘Jeopardy!’ moments from Alex Trebek’s 36 years as host

By PHILISSA CRAMER

(JTA) — Alex Trebek, the beloved baritone host of “Jeopardy!,” died of pancreatic cancer Sunday at 80. In his 36 years as host of the immensely popular game show, Trebek encountered his share of Jewish moments. We’ve rounded up a few especially notable ones from the last decade here.

2011: A rabbi appears on her ordination anniversary

Rabbi Joyce Newmark, a Conservative rabbi from Teaneck, New Jersey,...

‘Borat’ ads featuring Sacha Baron Cohen wearing ‘Allah’ ring (and little else) anger Paris Muslims

(JTA) — A billboard showing Sacha Baron Cohen lying seductively while wearing little more than a ring featuring the word Allah in Arabic is riling up Muslim bus drivers in France.

The ads are a promotion for the Jewish actor’s new film, the sequel to “Borat,” and they come amid a spate of jihadist attacks spurred in part by representations of Islam and at a time of rising tensions around...

An anti-Semitic cake, a Holocaust survivor and a whole lot of Hebrew: All the Jewish moments in ‘Borat 2’

By GABE FRIEDMAN

Spoiler alert: This article contains information about scenes and plot points in “Borat 2.” (JTA) — Sacha Baron Cohen’s new “Borat” sequel features plenty of crude gags and surprise appearances — sometimes colliding, as in the already infamous Rudy Giuliani scene. But the film also has a giant soft spot: for Judith Dim Evans, a sweet and loving Holocaust survivor ready to combat hate with a hug.

...

Mandy Patinkin on why Inigo Montoya is Jewish and what Saul Berenson would tell his Israeli sister about Trump

(JTA) — Mandy Patinkin brought a piece of his silver-screen past to the table in his first direct appeal to American Jews to vote for a candidate, Joe Biden.

Inigo Montoya’s sword plays a role in Patinkin’s appeal in a Jewish Democratic Council of America ad debuting Friday.

In an interview, Patinkin said it wasn’t the first time he used objects that melded his fictional and real universes: Saul Berenson,...

Holocaust survivor’s daughter wants her late mother’s interview out of ‘Borat’ sequel

(JTA) — The daughter of a late Holocaust survivor is suing to have her mother’s appearance in Sacha Baron Cohen’s upcoming “Borat” sequel removed from the film, stating that the comedy mocks “the Holocaust and Jewish culture.”

Cohen, who is Jewish, interviewed Judith Dim Evans earlier this year “under false pretenses with the intent of appropriating her likeness,” reads the lawsuit, which was filed this week with the Superior Court...

Gal Gadot to star as Egyptian queen Cleopatra in historical biopic

(JTA) — Gal Gadot will channel a real-life wonder woman as the star of a blockbuster film about the Egyptian queen Cleopatra.

The Israeli star will work on the film alongside “Wonder Woman” director Patty Jenkins, Deadline first reported.

Gadot’s husband Yaron Varsano and the couple’s Pilot Wave production company will be involved in the project as well. Universal, Warner Bros, Netflix and Apple also vied for the rights to...

Who’s on first? Liberal Billy Crystal and conservative Bill Kristol compete to endorse Biden

(JTA) — Take your pick: Crystal method, or Kristol, Bill’s persuasion.

Billy Crystal, the actor and comedian, and Bill Kristol, the onetime top adviser to Republican officials who has become a prominent “Never Trumper” joined in an ad released this week to explain why they were voting for Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee hoping to oust Donald Trump on Nov. 3.

“We never agree on anything!” says Crystal who pretends...

Moral of ‘The Keeper’ is about forgiveness, perseverance

By ALAN SMASON

There is a minor, but pivotal moment in Marcus H. Rosenmüeller’s film “The Keeper” where a rabbi makes a major and dramatic declaration. Based on the real life story of Bert (Bernd) Trautmann, the film recounts how Rabbi Alexander Altmann, a noted, former German-Jewish scholar who had fled the Nazis, advocates his fellow Manchester citizens accept Trautmann, a former decorated Nazi soldier, as the goalkeeper for their...