Patrick Goldstein: “Three of this year’s Oscar best picture nominees have something unusual in common — they have leading characters who are open, self-proclaimed Jews.”
“A Serious Man,” “Inglourious Basterds,” and “An Education.” I confess that I haven’t seen any of these films as I try to avoid Jewish navel gazing whenever possible. The first is a satire by the Coen Brothers of a Jewish community in a 1967 Midwestern town. The second is Tarantino’s well known movie about a fictional Jewish SWAT team that scalps Nazis. The third is about a Jewish real estate speculator who seduces a British adolescent.
Some in the Jewish community have charged that these films are anti-Semitic and even resemble Nazi propaganda. “Inglourious Basterds” depicts Jews as bloodthirsty monsters. Trevor Lynch of TOQ Online noticed this in his review. ”An Education” is about an unscrupulous Jewish pedophile. “A Serious Man” is about a staid Midwestern physics professor with a bitch for a wife and two insufferable brats as children.
It is worth observing here that there is a debate about these movies in the Jewish community. In contrast, the Europhobia of “Avatar” hasn’t made similar waves among White Americans. We’re not allowed a positive sense of racial identity that could serve as the basis of social criticism.