The end-of-year movie rush is on, and it’s rich in films of Jewish interest, including the Coen Brothers’ latest, True Grit. Tablet Magazine offers its top 10.
The first time Julie Taymor staged The Tempest, in 1986 at San Francisco’s Theater for a New Audience, she made the play’s sorcery come to life with puppets and masks. These days, Taymor—the daughter of a Jewish gynecologist and a Democratic party activist who let “art” become the de facto religion of their Newton, Mass., home—now has better tricks at her disposal, thanks to the magic of CGI. Over the years, people have found Jewish themes in Shakespeare’s final play: forced exile, usually, though more inventive interpreters have cast the whole thing as an allegory for the submission to God’s authority during the Days of Awe. Taymor’s version, which recasts Prospero as the avenging matriarch Prospera (played by Helen Mirren), introduces a fresh mother-daughter dynamic that, like the one depicted in Black Swan, can be read as both Jewish and universal.
In the poems of Silver Roses, the late Rachel Wetzsteon—who took her own life last year—is still very much alive