By Nate Bloom
Barbie, Remember Silverman?, Hardy Jewish Guy, Jerusalem Flicks
“Barbie,” which opens on July 14, is a live-action film about the iconic doll. As you may know, Barbie (the doll) was invented by the late RUTH HANDLER, who was the first president of the Mattel Toys Company.
Here’s the basic plot: After being expelled from Barbieland for being a less-than-perfect doll, Barbie sets off to the real world to find true happiness. Margot Robbie plays Barbie and Ryan Gosling plays Ken.
12 actresses play different version of Barbie (like President Barbie and Lawyer Barbie). Six actors play variations of Ken. One Ken variation is played by British actor KINGSLEY BEN-ADIR, 37. He’s the son of a white British father and a black mother who was born in Trinidad. “On her own” she converted to Judaism, as did Kingsley and his brother.
“Barbie” was co-written by NOAH BAUMBACH and Greta Gerwig. Gerwig, who has been Baumbach’s romantic partner since 2011, directed “Barbie.” Baumbach, 53, is the secular son of a Jewish father and non-Jewish mother. His excellent films include “Margot at the Wedding,” “The Meyerowitz Stories,” and “Marriage Story.” The last got a best film Oscar nomination.
Remember JONATHAN SILVERMAN? He was the darling of the Jewish community media from about 1986 until about 1992. His father was a rabbi and his grandfather was MORRIS SILVERMAN, a very important Conservative rabbi. His first big role was in the Broadway and film (1986) versions of “Brighton Beach Memoirs,” a hit NEIL SIMON play/script about a Jewish teenager in the 1930s. He had another hit with “Weekend at Bernie’s” (1989).
Silverman’s Jewish and “general media” attention faded away over the years. The movies he made flopped. Two TV series he was in were short-lived. Mostly he’s worked in one-time guest appearances.
My gut feeling is that his career faltered because Silverman had such great luck in his first roles. The media fawned over him and called him “the next big thing.” My educated guess is this “golden boy” long assumed that any role he took would be a ‘winner’ and he made many bad choices.
In 2007, Silverman, now 57, married actress Jennifer Finnigan, now 42, in what appears to be a secular wedding. Finnigan is a Montreal Catholic high school grad. She had some success in American TV. But a TNT series she made with Silverman flopped, as did two low-budget films they co-starred-in.
On July 7, the first two seasons of “Moonshine,” a Canadian comedy-drama, began running on the CW network. Finnigan is a star of the series and Silverman has a recurring role. Canadian reviews have been mixed.
I will tune-in at least once because actress Erin Darke appears in every episode and I want to see her act. For years, I’ve heard about Darke, who has been DANIEL RADCLIFFE’s romantic partner since 2012. I’ve never seen her act because all her previous roles were quite small (a waitress in one scene, etc.).
A Canadian friend just confirmed that ALEXANDER ELLIOT, who plays Joe Hardy on the (current) “Hardy Boys” series, is Jewish. The third and final season of the “Hardy Boys” (8 episodes) will be released on July 26. “The Hardy Boys” series is filmed in Canada.
Elliot, 19, was born Alexander Schmelzer. He was born and raised in Toronto. My friend is not absolutely sure that both his parents are Jewish. But that is likely, he says. Elliot’s parents are from Rumania and they immigrated to Canada — probably in the 1990s.
The Jerusalem Film Festival begins on July 13 and concludes on the 23rd. So, if you are in Jerusalem, or know someone who will be there, you/they have the chance to see some very good films (Just “Google” the Festival. All the details are on the Festival website).
The big “Jewish film” of the Festival is “Golda.” It stars Helen Mirren in the title role (GOLDA MEIR). It focuses on Meir’s leadership during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Mirren will attend the Festival, as will her co-star LIEV SCHREIBER, 55. He plays HENRY KISSINGER, now 100! Kissinger was Sec. of State during the War. (“Golda” will open wide in American theaters on August 25.)
The 30th anniversary of “Jurassic Park” — which was directed by STEVEN SPIELBERG — will be celebrated at the Festival in a “cool” way. The Jerusalem Symphony will play the score of the film live as the film is projected, in HD, on the screen.
Mistake Corner: Last week, I said that JOHN CORENSWET, the late (Jewish) father of actor DAVID CORENSWET, had a Quaker mother. I meant to say that David’s mother was a Quaker. John’s parents were Jewish.