Spielberg at the Golden Globes: “my mother kvellFrom up there “

JTA – Steven Spielberg said he was the sixth happiest person in the world after win the best director award at this year’s Golden Globes for “The Fabelmans,” his autobiographical film about his Jewish family.

“I think … there are five people happier than me,” he said in his acceptance speech, which he said he had not prepared ahead of time out of superstition. “There is my sister Anne, my sister Sue, my sister Nancy, my father Arnold and my mother. She kvell, from up there, right now. »

“Kvell” is a Yiddish word meaning to feel immense pride in the accomplishment of others – and it is closely associated with Jewish mothers who are proud of their children. Spielberg’s mother, Leah Adler, was the owner of a popular kosher restaurant in Los Angeles, and died in 2017. His father Arnold, who helped him direct his first film, died in 2020 at age 103.

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‘The Fabelmans,’ which also won best film in the drama category, tells the story of a child who falls in love with filmmaking and incorporates his family’s Jewish identity into the storytelling . The Adler-inspired character is played by Michele Williams, a non-Jewish actress who raises her children in the Jewish religionwhile Paul Dano plays the character inspired by Arnold Spielberg.

At the awards show, host Jerrod Carmichael joked that he watched ‘The Fabelmans’ with Kanye West ‘and it changed everything for him’ – alluding to the rapper’s anti-Semitic rant that lasted several months, cost him millions of dollars in sponsors and led to him becoming a show business pariah. Speaking to Spielberg, Carmichael said: “That’s how good you are. You changed Kanye West’s mind. (In response, Spielberg crossed his hands simulating a prayer as an answer guide.)

Spielberg was thanked from the stage even by actors who did not appear in his film: “Everything Everywhere All At Once” star Ke Huy Quan, who won Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy, thanked the director for giving him his first big break in “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” at age 12.

“I really like the ease with which Jewishness is present in this film. It’s a very deep part of Steven’s identity, and the Fableman’s identity,” Spielberg collaborator, Jewish writer Tony Kushner, said at a film festival in September ahead of the release. of the movie. “But it’s a movie that’s about Jewish people, rather than wholly or exclusively about Jewishness or anti-Semitism or whatever. So it’s not a problem, that’s what they are”.

The film received critical acclaim (Well Named), but Spielberg turned in the worst performance ever at the box office, where it’s unlikely to bring in nearly the $40 million spent to make it. (Many theatrical releases are in difficulty in a climate where the spectator has become accustomed to watching films at home – no doubt the reason why we see the filmmaker thanking the spectators for having traveled to come and see the movie, before the movie starts).

Spielberg’s presence at the ceremony was notable as many actors and directors boycotted last year’s event, following years of scandal at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which awards the awards. The group has been criticized for its members’ conflicts of interest and for the low presence of blacks among its members; he claims to have solved both of these problems.

Jewish actress Julia Garner, for her Netflix series ‘Ozark’, and Justin Hurwitz, who received the award for best original score for ‘Babylon’, were also honored at this year’s Golden Globes. The Jewish songwriter won all four Golden Globes he was nominated for, all for his work with filmmaker Damien Chazelle, his college roommate. Chazelle attended Hebrew school at a New Jersey synagogue and traveled to Israel with his classmates, despite being raised by Catholic parents.

Ukraine’s Jewish President Volodymyr Zelensky (who is originally a comedian) also made a special pre-recorded appearance at the Globes, thanking Hollywood for supporting Ukraine in its ongoing war with Russia and referencing the origins of the awards ceremony, in 1943, in the last years of the Second World War.

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Spielberg at the Golden Globes: “my mother kvellFrom up there ”