Jews shine at the 2011 Oscar nominations PLUS interviews with the stars, screenwriters and MORE

It’s the year of the Jew as the 2011 Oscar nominations definitively proved.

Read the nominations breakdown, by category, with live links to original stories with the stars of the 2011 Oscars.

ACTING: As expected, Jesse Eisenberg and Natalie Portman get top nods for starring in the most talked about movies of the year. Eisenberg, for his fictional portrayal of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in “The Social Network” and Portman for playing the self-mutilating, psychologically unhinged ballerina in “Black Swan”. James Franco, whose mother is Jewish, is nominated (also for being self-mutilating but in a life-preserving way) for the outdoor adventure film “127 Hours”. And in the supporting category, 14-year old Hailee Steinfeld nabs a nod for her portrayal of Mattie Ross, out to avenge her father’s murder in “True Grit”.

Read our cover story on Jesse Eisenberg in “The Social Network”; a 2002 profile with Jerusalem-born actress Natalie Portman; and the crazy antics of James Franco as performance artist; also actress nominee Helena Bonham Carter (“The King’s Speech”) on what it was like to play a Jewish mother

DIRECTING: Darren Aronofsky gets his first nod for the balletic melodrama “Black Swan” and Joel and Ethan Coen—aka the Coen Brothers—nab a nom for “True Grit”, their most commercially successful movie yet. David O’Russell, the son of a Jewish father and Italian-American mother also achieves in the directing category for the boxing drama “The Fighter”.

Read about the method to the Coen Brothers’ madness in our original coverage of “A Serious Man” as well as Hollywood Jew’s comment on their religious skepticism

; plus Naomi Pfefferman on Aronofsky’s breakout hit “Pi”

SCREENWRITING: Continuing with his sweep of writing awards, Aaron Sorkin is nominated in the adapted screenplay catergory for “The Social Network” and The Coen Brothers are also nominated in this category for “True Grit” for their faithful adaptation of the 1968 novel by Charles Portis. Writer/director Debra Granik nabs a nod for the chilling Midwestern thriller “Winter’s Bone”. In the original screenplay category, Mike Leigh is nominated for “Another Year” a glimpse into mid-life crises among the British middle class. Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg are honored for their portrait of a lesbian couple and their family in the “The Kids Are Alright” and David Seidler gets a first nod for the sharp and witty “The King’s Speech”.

Read about Sorkin’s treatment of Jewish women in “The Social Network” script; a profile of first-time nominee David Seidler and “The King’s Speech”; and a 1998 profile of Lisa Cholodenko on her first film “High Art”

BEST PICTURE: Producer Mike Medavoy is nominated for “Black Swan” and bigtime Jewish producer Scott Rudin is nominated for “The Social Network”, as are The Coen Brothers for “True Grit”. 

Read Tom Tugend’s full report on this year’s nominations and see the full Oscar nomination list here


What’s an Oscar ceremony without Joan Rivers? It was the good old days when “No Star Was Safe

**Special thanks to JJ arts and entertainment editor Naomi Pfefferman for her contribution of archival interviews to this report!