Every January the Golden Globe Awards give a taste of what was good and what was great in TV and film for the previous year, and 2014 produced plenty of great winners. From winners to nominees and even those not in the running, here are my picks for Jewishly-inspired TV and films to curl up with on the couch right now.
Winner of two Golden Globe Awards, this show has serious credibility as the first Amazon show to win major awards. It’s the story of a Jewish family dealing with the news that their father, Mort (the amazing Jeffrey Tambor), is now living as Maura. Everyone should watch this—it’s an incredible and honest portrayal of LGBTQ issues, and generally a great show. You can even meet Jeffrey Tambor in person at Chai in the Hub on Jan. 31!
Nominated for Best Original Song in a Motion Picture, this film is one in a series of recently popular biblical movies. I can’t say this was one of the most riveting movies of the year, but Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Anthony Hopkins and Emma Watson will give you a whole new way of viewing the Book of Genesis.
“Woman in Gold”
Coming to theaters later this year, this film tells the tale of Maria Altmann, an elderly Jewish survivor of World War II, who sues the Austrian government for the return of artwork the Nazis stole from her family. The film features an all-star cast, including Golden Globe nominee Helen Mirren, who plays the niece of Adele Bloch-Bauer, the Jewish muse of Gustav Klimt, along with Ryan Reynolds and Katie Holmes.
“The Red Tent”
Yes, Anita Diamant’s phenomenal book has been produced for Lifetime, but this two-part series is well worth the three hours. Minnie Driver does justice to the strong and smart Leah, and while she may not stereotypically look the part, Rebecca Ferguson plays a great Dinah. My suggestion
before watching this is to read the book so you can make a fair comparison; they vary tremendously, and you’ll have much to discuss afterward.
“Little White Lie”
This documentary was screened at the 26th annual Boston Jewish Film Festival, and I was so captivated by the film—and the filmmaker, Lacey Schwartz—that I could have listened to her speak for at least another hour. The title truly gets at the heart of the film, going beyond race and color questions and delving deeply into the little white lies we all live with. This film will debut on PBS on March 23 at 10 p.m., so don’t miss it!