In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Apr. 18, 2013/ 8 Iyar, 5773

Biopics always have one scene too many

By Barry Koltnow

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) When he won the Oscar this year for portraying Abraham Lincoln in Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln," Daniel Day-Lewis was pretty much anointed the best movie actor of all time.

After all, he is the only actor to win three Oscars in the leading actor category, putting him ahead of Jack Nicholson (two leading Oscars, one supporting Oscar) and Marlon Brando (two Oscars in the leading category).

But I didn't have to wait until 2013 to give Day-Lewis the crown. As far as I'm concerned, he has been the best actor in the business since 1989.

That year, I interviewed Day-Lewis for the first time. I wasn't familiar with his work until the night before the interview, when I saw him in the biographical film "My Left Foot." The actor portrayed Christy Brown, the Irish writer and artist who suffered from cerebral palsy.

When I entered the room, Day-Lewis stood up to greet me. As he walked across the room and extended his hand, my eyes instinctually looked down at his left leg to see if he was limping as he had been in the movie. He didn't limp, of course, and I'm sure I wasn't the only person fooled by his brilliant acting.

Biographical films, or biopics as they're called in the movie business, are great showcases for the right actor. The list of actors and actresses who have won Oscars for biopics is long, and includes: Meryl Streep ("The Iron Lady"), Robert De Niro ("Raging Bull"), George C. Scott ("Patton"), Jamie Foxx ("Ray"), Colin Firth ("The King's Speech"), Sissy Spacek ("Coal Miner's Daughter), Geoffrey Rush ("Shine") and Charlize Theron ("Monster"). Even Julia Roberts won an Oscar for "Erin Brockovich."

While they are terrific vehicles for individual performances, biopics are rarely considered great movies in their own right. In fact, of the American Film Institute's 100 best movies of all time, only a handful are categorized as biographical films — "Raging Bull," "Lawrence of Arabia," "Schindler's List," "GoodFellas" and "Bonnie and Clyde."

For those of you who were wondering, Norman Bates from "Psycho" was not a real person.

I have a problem with biographical films. It is the moment of self-reflection that all directors of biopics insist on putting in their films.

It is the moment when the subject of the film, whether it is the King of England or the King of Swat, is alone with his thoughts. He either talks to himself aloud (how convenient), or we hear him thinking real loud.

It drives me crazy. "How do we know that Richard Nixon said that? There was nobody else in the room."

I fully understand that biographical films are not documentaries. That is the standard defense by makers of biographical films.

But I don't buy the excuse. A biographical film should be as honest as humanly possible, or it's being dishonest to the people watching the movie.

The newest kid on the biopic block is "42," the movie about Dodger legend Jackie Robinson.

The film was written and directed by Brian Helgeland, and is set in 1946 and 1947, when Dodger executive Branch Rickey selected Robinson to break baseball's color barrier.

It is an important film, and one that should be seen by every child, regardless of color.

Helgeland based his screenplay on a variety of sources. As he explained to me, almost everyone involved in Robinson's brush with history has written a book about it. Even the villains (the Philadelphia Phillies manager comes off looking pretty bad in the movie) wrote a book about it. Besides, the director had the ballplayer's widow Rachel Robinson as a resource. He showed her various drafts of the script, and she made suggestions, particularly on language (she had Helgeland change the name she used for her grandmother).

One of the scenes Rachel Robinson objected to proves to be one of the emotional highlights of the film, which is why Helgeland kept it in the movie.

It takes place in the tunnel leading from the clubhouse to the dugout. After a particularly vile incident on the field, Robinson, who is alone, finally breaks emotionally and smashes his bat against the wall.

Rachel Robinson says it never happened. Ralph Branca, the Dodger pitcher who was in the dugout that day, says it never happened. Even Helgeland admits that it never happened.

But the writer-director, who won an Oscar for writing "L.A. Confidential," justified the scene this way — he said he felt that there was no way Robinson could have withstood all that abuse without cracking at least once, even if it was in private.

Frankly, I think Robinson's real story is so dramatic on its own that it didn't need enhancement.

And I think that the fact that he didn't break under all the pressure makes him even more heroic than he was, and that's saying something.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment on Barry Koltnow's column by clicking here.


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