The 2012 Oscar nominees have been announced, and Israel’s well-received official entry, Footnote, is on the list for best foreign film. Also nominated was Iranian screenwriter Asghar Farhadi’s A Separation.
Written and directed by Joseph Cedar, Footnote (Hebrew with English subtitles) deals with father-son rivalry at the highest academic level as Eliezer and Uriel Shkolnik, both professors in Talmudic Studies, compete with each other for the coveted Israel Prize. Other Israeli films have secured the nomination in recent years, including Ajami in 2009, Waltz With Bashir in 2008, and Joseph Cedar’s 2007 film, Beaufort.
Other nominations include Moneyball (best picture), starring Brad Pitt, about how sabermetrics helped reinvent the Oakland A’s. Most notably, Jonah Hill (Jonah Hill!) was nominated as best supporting actor. He’s up against Max von Sydow from the adaptation of Jonathan Safran Foer’s novel Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, also in the running for best picture.
Woody Allen gets his due for best-film nominee Midnight in Paris, with a nod for both best director and best original screenplay. He’s up against Asghar Farhadi in the screenplay category. In other Oscar news, the JTA Archive points out that the late Oscar-nominated screenwriter (and JTA president) Eleazar Lipsky would have turned 100 today.
Stephanie Butnick is chief strategy officer of Tablet Magazine, co-founder of Tablet Studios, and a host of the Unorthodox podcast.