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Tablet’s Guide to the Academy Awards

Brush up on your history and learn more about the nominees

Adam Chandler
February 22, 2013
The 84th Academy Awards(BigScreenAnimation)
The 84th Academy Awards(BigScreenAnimation)

With Oscar time nearly here, we have put together a guide that will make you the smartest, more erudite, and coolest person at your Oscar party (unless you are going to an Oscar party with another Tablet reader). Make your way through our content or print them out so you’ll be ready for your close up.

First, if you haven’t subjected your entire office/neighborhood to Tablet chanteuse and national gem Rachel Shukert’s Oscar-themed vocal stylings yet, you are doing a disservice to your community. Next, supplement your Oscar journey with Steve Brodner’s illustrations on Jewish sequels to guide your way.

All warmed up? Let’s do some heavy lifting:

For an impressive story on Carl Laemmle, Hollywood’s unrecognized rescuer, check out Allison Hoffman’s piece here for more about him and Jewish movie moguls of the 1930s.

Next, check out a Jacob Silverman story on the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, which holds a number of famous Jewish residents and hosted some nefarious criminal activity.

Read up on how Citizen Kane forever changed both filmmaking and the way Jews are seen on screen. Harold Heft reports.

Your foundation set, let’s take a look at some reviews of current Academy Award nominees, starting with the esteemed J. Hoberman, who has a review of Lincoln for the ages or the angles.

Judith Miller takes a look at Zero Dark Thirty and The Gatekeepers.

For something different, Rachel Shukert writes about how Django Unchained and Lincoln, films about slavery, are the new Holocaust films.


Next up, here’s a pu pu platter of information on past Oscar winners.

J. Hoberman on The Dictator (old and new) and the film Footnote, whose director Joseph Cedar sat down with Daphne Merkin not too long ago.

Top it off with Rachel Shukert’s look at the red carpet, Liel Leibovitz’s entirely unpredicted take down of Tree of Life, and Andrew Marantz’s incisive piece on Avatar and you’ll have the whole picture.

Last, but certainly not least, give our massive, critically-acclaimed 100 Greatest Jewish Films series a look and you’ll be the next David O. Selznick in no time.

Don’t forget the popcorn.

Adam Chandler was previously a staff writer at Tablet. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, Slate, Esquire, New York, and elsewhere. He tweets @allmychandler.