Our Favourite 2019 Oscar Nominated Movies

by | Feb 22, 2019 | Entertainment, Hillel Ontario | 0 comments

Ah, awards season, that time of year when we spend our Sundays watching a three hour show, which turns into a three-and-a-half hour show. (When do they ever run on time?) We’ve already watched the Golden Globes and The Grammys, but tonight is Oscar night! Despite the lengthy show and lack of a host this year, there are some really great movies nominated. We asked the Hillel Ontario staff which Oscar nominated movies are their favourites, and here’s what they had to say.

A STAR IS BORN


What’s not to love about Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga? Not only was the movie itself amazing, but the soundtrack complements the plot and cinematography perfectly. Lady Gaga captivates us with her outstanding singing and songwriting in the most popular song in the movie, “Shallows”, which has been nominated for Best Original Song. Did you know that the song was co-written by Jewish songwriter Mark Ronson? Go figure!

BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY

A favourite in the Hillel Ontario office, and for understandable reasons! Queen is one of the most influential rock bands of all time, and this film portrays the rise of the band and its lead singer, Freddie Mercury. From the scene portraying the creation of their most famous song, “Bohemian Rhapsody,” to their epic Live Aid performance, this film is a must-see.

THE FAVOURITE


This film features notable Jewish actress Rachel Weisz. She’s been nominated for her strong performance as Lady Sarah Churchill, a cunning, politically astute and power-hungry woman who is Queen Anne’s closest advisor and friend. Her villainous performance makes her a frontrunner to win Best Actress in a Supporting Role.

GREEN BOOK


The Hillel Ontario staff unanimously agree that Green Book will win Best Picture of the Year. Green Book is based on the true-life story of a famous African-American pianist and a white Italian New Yorker. The two form an unlikely bond in the 1960s during a time when unabashed racism and overt segregation are prevalent in the southern United States.

FUN FACT! Did you know that, of 8,000 people who vote for this year’s Academy Awards, only one of them is a Rabbi? Read more about two-time Oscar winner Rabbi Marvin Hier here.

Happy Oscar watching!

Annamie Paul Joins Hillel Ontario

Annamie Paul Joins Hillel Ontario

Last month Hillel Ontario heard from Annamie Paul, leader of the Green Party of Canada. After winning the leadership race back in October of 2020, Annamie became the first Black person and first Jewish woman to lead a federal Canadian political party. Since then, she has been speaking to Canadians all across the country, spreading messages of hope and inspiration, during a time where these moments are a rarity. No matter the political orientation of the Zoom attendees of this fireside chat, everyone walked away with a few life lessons up their sleeve.

Here are some of my biggest takeaways. First, Annamie spoke about following your passion, a message that I know many students needed to hear. When I graduated from grade 12, I was constantly asked where I saw myself in five years, ten years, and sometimes even twenty years. Although I was asked with the best intentions, I’ve always felt overwhelming pressure to envision a clear career path. Annamie dispelled this myth by referencing the enjoyment associated with the process of discovering your passion rather than having a final goal in mind, and Annamie’s enthusiasm for human rights through a policy lens has shaped the course of her life. Second, Annamie spoke about the importance of speaking up in the face of injustice. Whether you consider yourself an advocate or not, Annamie highlighted the need to follow your moral compass, never remaining complicit. Following Annamie’s time as the leader of the Green Party, it is clear that she isn’t afraid to use her voice and position to shine light on racism, antisemitism, and sexism. These are two lessons I think everyone can learn from.

Annamie spoke about growing up in Toronto Centre (the riding where she will be running in the next federal election), her career as an international lawyer, and her decision to enter politics. As someone who doesn’t fit the mold of a traditional politician, Annamie referenced about the challenges that she’s faced as a Black, Jewish woman. Racism, antisemitism, and sexism were all constant throughout her leadership campaign, and her six months leading the Green Party. 

Throughout Annamie’s talk, I learned about the importance of elevating voices that have previously gone unheard. In a predominantly white space, Hillel students and staff need to work hard to ensure that Jews of Colour feel welcomed. 

After 45 minutes, the latter half of which consisted of an insightful Q&A, Annamie mentioned that she would love to be invited back to another Hillel Ontario fireside chat. For now, I’ll take Annamie’s lessons with me while looking forward to hearing about all of her accomplishments in a year from now.

  • Skylar Banks, Guelph Hillel
Collaboration Breeds Diversity and Inclusion

Collaboration Breeds Diversity and Inclusion

Collaborating with other student organizations allows us to diversify the students at our events, build coalitions, establish good rapport with other student groups and broaden the topics of the content that we deliver. 

This past month, we had the privilege of working with the Waterloo and Laurier chapters of Menstruation Redefined, which is committed to helping with the “institutional and social barriers surrounding menstruation that risk the health, well-being, and daily lives of many.” This mission resonated with us at Hillel because we understand the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion for all. These are values that we hold as Jews, and want to embody at Hillel. 

We joined forces to produce a fun evening of trivia and learning. The event allowed us to reach new students, educate others on Jewish practice for those who menstruate, and learn more about Menstruation Redefined’s mission. Collaborative events like this allow us to understand key issues and causes that other student-run campus groups advocate for and to build strong allyships and ensure that we propel Hillel’s values forward, such as inclusion and equity.

Jessica Bloom, HIllel Waterloo Student President
Veronica Grad, Hillel Laurier Student President

X