Queenie, with short blond hair a pink robe, strikes an aggressive pose holding out her magic wand
Alison Sudol as Jewish wizard Queenie Goldstein of the "Fantastic Beasts" series

‘Fantastic Jews and Where to Find Them’; Ross Geller, beer thief


At the movies

“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” is a sequel to the 2016 movie “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” and both were written by J.K. Rowling of “Harry Potter” fame. The “Beast” series (there reportedly will be two more) is a spinoff from the world of “Harry Potter.” The new movie begins with a dark wizard named Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) escaping captivity and crafting an evil plan. Will Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), an introverted British wizard, be able to stop him? Newt’s allies include Tina and Queenie Goldstein, good wizards that Rowling has hinted are Jewish. Dan Fogler, 42, plays Jacob Kowalski, an American veteran soldier who is sweet on Queenie (there are hints that he, too, is Jewish). Meanwhile, Ezra Miller, 26, reprises his big role as bad guy Credence Barebone, and Zoe Kravitz, 29, plays Leta Lestrange, who Scamander was sweet on before she betrayed him.

It’s important to note that J.K. Rowling, who isn’t Jewish, has been a vocal opponent of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel, and has taken on those on the British left who have crossed the line that separates legitimate criticism of Israel from anti-Semitism.

Artist and filmmaker Julian Schnabel, 67, is the director and co-screenwriter of “At Eternity’s Gate,” a biopic about the final days of Vincent van Gogh. French Jewish actor Mathieu Amalric (“Munich”), 53, has a major supporting role as physician Paul Gachet, a staunch supporter of the Impressionist movement who treated Van Gogh during the artist’s final months.

Matthew Heineman, 34, an Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker (“Cartel Lands”), makes his debut as a feature film director with “A Private War.” It tells the story of Marie Colvin (1956-2012), a U.S. journalist who covered some of the hottest war zones in the world and was almost certainly murdered on the orders of the current Syrian regime. Rosamund Pike stars as Colvin.

All of the films mentioned above are scheduled to open nationwide on Friday, Nov. 16.


On smaller screens

Brothers Ethan Coen, 61, and Joel Coen, 63, have written the screenplay and directed a new film, “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” that will be released on Netflix on Friday, Nov. 16. Six different tales from the Old West are told. The first story co-stars Tim Blake Nelson, 54, and David Krumholtz, 40. Later stories include Palo Alto native James Franco, 40, and German-born Canadian Saul Rubinek, 70.

Matthew Broderick, 56, popped up on the ABC show “The Connors” on Oct. 30 as a guest star. He’ll appear in an arc of episodes as the boyfriend of Jackie (Laurie Metcalf). By the way, Variety is out with its 2018 list of estimated salaries of 100 top TV actors and actresses and Sara Gilbert, 43, who plays Darlene on “The Connors,” is tied for the sitcom lead with co-stars John Goodman and Metcalf, each reportedly earning $375,000 per episode.

Recently, police in Blackpool, England, posted a video of a suspect wanted for stealing a wallet and a cellphone from a restaurant. Tips flowed-in, many identifying the subject as Ross Geller, the character David Schwimmer, 52, played on “Friends.” Yes, there is a strong resemblance, but Schwimmer tweeted a security video of himself and the following message: “Officers, I swear it wasn’t me. As you can see, I was in New York. To the hardworking Blackpool Police, good luck with the investigation. #itwasntme.”

Nate Bloom

Nate Bloom writes the "Celebrity Jews" column for J.