Harvey Weinstein ‘entourage’ apparently includes French president + ‘secret letter’
March 2: Below is a letter (from last July 22) French president Nicolas Sarkozy wrote to The Weinstein Company’s cochairman Harvey Weinstein, who has been inducted as a chevalier into France’s Légion d’Honneur – or Legion of Honor – the highest decoration given to civilians, whether French or international.
Dear Mr. Weinstein,
I have great pleasure of informing you that I have signed a decree which nominates you to the order of the Legion d’Honneur.
This prestigious distinction, which I wanted to come from my personal allocation, is a testimony of the admiration of millions of French citizens for the exceptional quality of the films that you have produced. It also expresses our gratitude to someone who has always shown great friendship towards our country and our cinema, which you have enabled so many Americans to discover.
I would like to express my personal congratulations for the well deserved distinction which France has bestowed on you.
Harvey Weinstein’s Legion of Honor “nomination” was made public only today (March 2), five days after The Weinstein Company-distributed The Artist, a mostly French production (with some Belgian financing), won five Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director (Michel Hazanavicius), and Best Actor (Jean Dujardin).
As per the TWC press release, Weinstein had requested that the honor be kept private until now “to avoid any conflict of interest” with his company’s Academy Award campaign for The Artist.
The Weinstein Company movies
Among the films distributed either by The Weinstein Company or by Weinstein’s previous distribution entity, Miramax, are:
- Jane Campion’s The Piano (1993).
- Massimo Troisi’s Il Postino (1995).
- Gus Van Sant’s Good Will Hunting (1997).
- Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York (2002).
- Anthony Minghella’s Cold Mountain (2003).
- Martin Scorsese’s The Aviator (2004)
- Woody Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008).
- Rob Marshall’s Nine (2009).
- Simon Curtis’ My Week with Marilyn (2011).
- Phyllida Lloyd’s The Iron Lady (2011), which earned Meryl Streep the Best Actress Oscar this year for her portrayal of British prime minister Margaret Thatcher.
Besides The Artist, Weinstein released in North America three other Best Picture Academy Award winners:
- Anthony Minghella’s The English Patient (1996).
- John Madden’s Shakespeare in Love (1998).
- Tom Hooper’s The King’s Speech (2010).
In addition to Roberto Benigni’s Best Foreign Language Film Oscar winner Life Is Beautiful (1998) and a couple of Palme d’Or winners:
- Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction (1994).
- Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004), via IFC Films/Lionsgate following a public spat with Miramax’s parent company – Walt Disney – top dog Michael Eisner.
Among the French movies (or French co-productions) distributed in the United States by either Harvey Weinstein company are:
- Claude Lelouch’s Edith and Marcel (1983).
Cast: Evelyne Bouix. Marcel Cerdan Jr. Jean-Claude Brialy. Jacques Villeret. Charles Gérard. Charlotte de Turckheim.
- Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro’s Delicatessen (1991).
- Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Three Colors: Blue (1993).
Cast: Juliette Binoche.
- Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Three Colors: White (1994).
Cast: Julie Delpy.
- Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Three Colors: Red (1994).
Cast: Irène Jacob. Jean-Louis Trintignant. Jean-Pierre Lorit.
- Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Amélie / Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain (2001).
Cast: Audrey Tautou. Mathieu Kassovitz.
- Radu Mihaileanu’s Le Concert (2009).
Cast: Aleksey Guskov. Dmitriy Nazarov. Mélanie Laurent. François Berléand. Miou-Miou. Vlad Ivanov. Roger Dumas.
- Gilles Paquet-Brenner’s Sarah’s Key / Elle s’appelait Sarah (2010).
Cast: Kristin Scott Thomas. Mélusine Mayance. Niels Arestrup. Michel Duchaussoy. Dominique Frot. Aidan Quinn.
Upcoming releases include:
- Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano’s blockbuster The Intouchables (2011).
Cast: François Cluzet. Omar Sy.
- Olivier Marchal’s A Gang Story / Les Lyonnais (2011).
Cast: Gérard Lanvin. Tchéky Karyo.
- Christophe Barratier’s War of the Buttons / La Nouvelle guerre des boutons (2011).
Cast: Jean Texier. Clément Godefroy. Laetitia Casta. Guillaume Canet. Marie Bunel. Gérard Jugnot. Kad Merad.
- The multi-part comedy Les Infidèles / The Players (2012).
Cast: Jean Dujardin. Gilles Lellouche.
Show business Legion of Honor-ees
Past show business recipients of the Legion of Honor include:
Marthe Keller (And Now My Love, Marathon Man) is another 2012 Legion of Honor inductee, along with Salma Hayek (Frida, Puss in Boots), whose inclusion in this year’s list was more than a bit controversial.
Audrey Tautou Amélie image: Miramax.
Harvey Weinstein photo: David Shankbone – Own work, CC BY 3.0, via Wikipedia.
‘Canadian’ honorees Viggo Mortensen & Vanessa Paradis
In other awards season news, Philippe Falardeau’s Monsieur Lazhar, the tale of an Algerian immigrant and middle-school teacher who changes the lives of several of his students, won a total of six Genie Awards – the Canadian Oscars – including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Fellag), Best Supporting Actress (Sophie Nélisse), and Best Adapted Screenplay (also Falardeau, from Evelyne de la Chenelière’s play). (See further below the full list of Genie Award winners.)
Ten days ago, Monsieur Lazhar lost the Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award to Asghar Farhadi’s Iranian drama A Separation. The film’s producers, Luc Déry and Kim McCraw, were also behind Denis Villeneuve’s Incendies, last year’s Genie winner and another Best Foreign Language Film Oscar nominee. (Seven of the last ten Best Picture Genie Award winners were at least in part French-language Quebec-made productions.)
After winning Best Director, Falardeau made the sort of declaration that drives libertarians and their right-wing fellow travelers up the wall. By the way, that would include Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper, whose government a few years ago tried to get rid of tax credits given to film and television productions deemed “offensive” to the general public.
“I want to say that I’m privileged to work in a time and a place where our public system makes it possible for us to make a personal film. It’s a choice we make as a society. Cinema is the memory and the imagination of a country so without that our country would not be a nation.
“I would like to share this with all my fellow filmmakers across Canada who are struggling to make personal films. I want to say to them be persistent, be wild, be bold, be a little delinquent, take this and something good is bound to happen.”
David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method was the runner-up at this year’s Canadian Genie Awards, winning five statuettes, mostly in the “technical” categories. As Sigmund Freud, Viggo Mortensen was the Best Supporting Actor winner.
“I must thank first and foremost David Cronenberg for taking a chance on me. I don’t think any other director would have thought of me as Sigmund Freud,” Mortensen remarked. Though touted as a possible Oscar nominee during this past awards season, Mortensen eventually failed to be shortlisted by the Hollywood Academy.
In addition to Mortensen (who’ll next be seen in Walter Salles’ On the Road), A Dangerous Method stars Michael Fassbender and Keira Knightley, while Sarah Gadon has a featured role in the psychological drama. (Gadon has a key role in Cronenberg’s latest as well, Cosmopolis, which quite possibly will be screened at Cannes and which also received government funding. Robert Pattinson stars.)
Another A Dangerous Method winner was composer Howard Shore, who also happened to be shortlisted for the Oscars – but for Martin Scorsese’s Hugo. Shore lost the Academy Award to The Artist‘s Ludovic Bource.
Jean-Marc Vallée, for his part, failed to reprise a C.R.A.Z.Y.-like sweep this year. His fantastical love story Café de Flore won only three out of its 11 nominations, including the Best Actress Genie for French actress-singer Vanessa Paradis, best known in the United States as Johnny Depp’s (former?) companion. In Café de Flore Paradis plays the mother of a young boy with Down syndrome who has a romantic “connection” with a man (Kevin Parent) living in a different time and place.
Starring Patrick Huard and Julie LeBreton, Starbuck, a comedy about a sperm-bank donor who fathered more than 500 children, earned the Best Original Screenplay Award to writer-director Ken Scott and co-writer Martin Petit. A major box office hit in Canada, the film also won the Golden Reel Award for most successful Canadian film of 2011.
And finally, the Best Documentary Feature was Isabelle Lavigne’s At Night, They Dance, about a family of Egyptian belly dancers.
The Genie Awards ceremony was held in Toronto, with CBC’s George Stroumboulopoulos acting as host. Performers included Johnny Reid, K’naan, and The Sheepdogs.
“This is the best Genies ever,” David Cronenberg was quoted as saying on the Genie Awards’ Twitter feed. “There’s a great vibe.” If so, the Beverly Hills-based Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences might want to start paying closer attention to what goes on up north.
Viggo Mortensen (Sigmund Freud), Michael Fassbender (Carl Jung), A Dangerous Method
MEILLEUR FILM / BEST MOTION PICTURE
A DANGEROUS METHOD – Martin Katz, Marco Mehlitz, Jeremy Thomas
CAFÉ DE FLORE – Pierre Even, Marie-Claude Poulin, Jean-Marc Vallée
* MONSIEUR LAZHAR – Luc Déry, Kim McCraw
STARBUCK – André Rouleau
THE WHISTLEBLOWER – Christina Piovesan, Celine Rattray
MEILLEURE RÉALISATION / ACHIEVEMENT IN DIRECTION
DAVID CRONENBERG – A Dangerous Method
STEVEN SILVER – The Bang Bang Club
JEAN-MARC VALLÉE – Café de Flore
* PHILIPPE FALARDEAU – Monsieur Lazhar
LARYSA KONDRACKI – The Whistleblower
MEILLEURES IMAGES / ACHIEVEMENT IN CINEMATOGRAPHY
MIROSLAW BASZAK, C.S.C. – The Bang Bang Club
PIERRE COTTEREAU – Café de Flore
JON JOFFIN – Daydream Nation
* JEAN-FRANÇOIS LORD – Snow & Ashes
RONALD PLANTE – Monsieur Lazhar
MEILLEUR MONTAGE / ACHIEVEMENT IN EDITING
JEAN-FRANÇOIS BERGERON – The Year Dolly Parton Was My Mom
MICHAEL CZARNECKI – In Darkness
PATRICK DEMERS – Jaloux
* STÉPHANE LAFLEUR – Monsieur Lazhar
RONALD SANDERS, C.C.E. A.C.E. – A Dangerous Method
MEILLEURE MUSIQUE ORIGINALE / ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC – ORIGINAL SCORE
RAMACHANDRA BORCAR – Jaloux
MYCHAEL DANNA – The Whistleblower
MARTIN LÉON – Monsieur Lazhar
PHILIP MILLER – The Bang Bang Club
* HOWARD SHORE – A Dangerous Method
MEILLEURE CHANSON ORIGINALE / ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC – ORIGINAL SONG
JAY BRANNAN – Cloudburst – “My Love My Love”
* CAROLE FACAL – Starbuck – “Quelque part”
MALAJUBE – Good Neighbours – “Oeil pour Oeil”
STEVEN PAGE – French Immersion – “A Different Sort of Solitude”
JEAN ROBITAILLE, STEVE GALLUCCIO – Funkytown – “Waiting for your Touch”
MEILLEURE DIRECTION ARTISTIQUE / ACHIEVEMENT IN ART DIRECTION/PRODUCTION DESIGN
JEAN BÉCOTTE – Funkytown
AIDAN LEROUX, ROB HEPBURN – Edwin Boyd: Citizen Gangster
* JAMES MCATEER – A Dangerous Method
PATRICE VERMETTE – Café de Flore
EMELIA WEAVIND – The Bang Bang Club
MEILLEURS COSTUMES / ACHIEVEMENT IN COSTUME DESIGN
DENISE CRONENBERG – A Dangerous Method
FARNAZ KHAKI-SADIGH – Afghan Luke
GINETTE MAGNY, EMMANUELLE YOUCHNOVSKI – Café de Flore
HEATHER NEALE – Keyhole
* MARIE-CHANTALE VAILLANCOURT – Funkytown
MEILLEURS MAQUILLAGES / ACHIEVEMENT IN MAKE-UP
* CHRISTIANE FATTORI, FRÉDÉRIC MARIN – Café de Flore
AMBER MAKAR – Amazon Falls
VIRGINIE PARÉ – BumRush
TAMMY LOU PATE – Snow & Ashes
LESLIE ANN SEBERT, DAVID R. BEECROFT – Take This Waltz
MEILLEUR SON D’ENSEMBLE / ACHIEVEMENT IN OVERALL SOUND
STÉPHANE BERGERON, YANN CLEARY, LISE WEDLOCK – Marécages
PIERRE BERTRAND, SHAUN NICHOLAS GALLAGHER, BERNARD GARIÉPY STROBL – Monsieur Lazhar
JEAN MINONDO, JOCELYN CARON, GAVIN FERNANDES, LOUIS GIGNAC – Café de Flore
LOU SOLAKOFSKI, STEPHAN CARRIER, KIRK LYNDS – The Bang Bang Club
* OREST SUSHKO, CHRISTIAN COOKE – A Dangerous Method
MEILLEUR MONTAGE SONORE / ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND EDITING
FRED BRENNAN, JAMES BASTABLE, GABE KNOX, JOHN SIEVERT – You Are Here
CLAUDE BEAUGRAND, OLIVIER CALVERT, NATALIE FLEURANT, FRANCINE POIRIER – Marécages
* WAYNE GRIFFIN, ROB BERTOLA, TONY CURRIE, ANDY MALCOLM, MICHAEL O’FARRELL – A Dangerous Method
MARTIN PINSONNAULT, BLAISE BLANCHIER, SIMON MEILLEUR, MIREILLE MORIN, LUC RAYMOND – Café de Flore
JEREMY MACLAVERTY, DANIEL PELLERIN, GEOFF RAFFAN, JAN RUDY, JOHN SIEVERT, JAMES MARK STEWART – In Darkness
MEILLEURS EFFETS VISUELS / ACHIEVEMENT IN VISUAL EFFECTS
DENNIS BERARDI, MATHEW BORNETT, MIKE BORRETT, WILSON CAMERON, OVI CINAZIN, JASON EDWARDH, OLIVER HEARSEY, JIM PRICE, MILAN SCHERE, WOLCIECH ZIELINSKI – A Dangerous Method
ÉVE BRUNET, JACQUES LÉVESQUE, PHILIPPE ROBERGE – Snow & Ashes
* MARC CÔTÉ, STÉPHANIE BROUSSAUD, GARY CHUNTZ, VINCENT DUDOUET, CYNTHIA MOUROU, ERIC NORMANDIN, MARTIN PENSA, LUC SANFAÇON, SYLVAIN THÉROUX, NATHALIE TREMBLAY – Café de Flore
GEOFFROY LAUZON – BumRush
TOM TURNBULL, IAN BRITTON, ROBERT CROWTHER, TONY CYBULSKI – Edwin Boyd: Citizen Gangster
Viggo Mortensen / Michael Fassbender / A Dangerous Method photo: Liam Daniel / Sony Pictures Classics
Kaelen Meuiner, Garret Dillahunt, Oliver Sherman
INTERPRÉTATION MASCULINE DANS UN PREMIER RÔLE / PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
* FELLAG – Monsieur Lazhar
GARRET DILLAHUNT – Oliver Sherman
MICHAEL FASSBENDER – A Dangerous Method
PATRICK HUARD – Starbuck
SCOTT SPEEDMAN – Edwin Boyd: Citizen Gangster
INTERPRÉTATION FÉMININE DANS UN PREMIER RÔLE / PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
CATHERINE DE LÉAN – Nuit #1
PASCALE MONTPETIT – The Girl in the White Coat
* VANESSA PARADIS – Café de Flore
RACHEL WEISZ – The Whistleblower
MICHELLE WILLIAMS – Take This Waltz
INTERPRÉTATION MASCULINE DANS UN RÔLE DE SOUTIEN / PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
ANTOINE BERTRAND – Starbuck
KEVIN DURAND – Edwin Boyd: Citizen Gangster
MARIN GERRIER – Café de Flore
TAYLOR KITSCH – The Bang Bang Club
* VIGGO MORTENSEN – A Dangerous Method
INTERPRÉTATION FÉMININE DANS UN RÔLE DE SOUTIEN / PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
ROXANA CONDURACHE – The Whistleblower
HÉLÈNE FLORENT – Café de Flore
JULIE LE BRETON – Starbuck
* SOPHIE NÉLISSE – Monsieur Lazhar
CHARLOTTE SULLIVAN – Edwin Boyd: Citizen Gangster
MEILLEUR SCÉNARIO / ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
ANNE ÉMOND – Nuit #1
EILIS KIRWAN, LARYSA KONDRACKI – The Whistleblower
* KEN SCOTT, MARTIN PETIT – Starbuck
JEAN-MARC VALLÉE – Café de Flore
RYAN WARD, MATTHEW HEITI – Son of the Sunshine
MEILLEURE ADAPTATION / ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
* PHILIPPE FALARDEAU – Monsieur Lazhar
RYAN REDFORD – Oliver Sherman
DAVID SHAMOON – In Darkness
STEVEN SILVER – The Bang Bang Club
MEILLEUR LONG MÉTRAGE DOCUMENTAIRE / BEST FEATURE LENGTH DOCUMENTARY
BEAUTY DAY – Jay Cheel, Kristina McLaughlin, Kevin McMahon, Roman Pizzacalla
FAMILY PORTRAIT IN BLACK AND WHITE – Julia Ivanova, Boris Ivanov
THE GUANTANAMO TRAP – Thomas Wallner, Amit Breuer, Patrick Crowe
* LA NUIT, ELLES DANSENT / AT NIGHT, THEY DANCE – Isabelle Lavigne, Stéphane Thibault, Lucie Lambert
WIEBO’S WAR – David York, Nick Hector, C.C.E., Bryn Hughes, Bonnie Thompson
MEILLEUR COURT MÉTRAGE DOCUMENTAIRE / BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY
75 WATTS – John Cullen
DERAILMENTS – Chelsea McMullan
* SIRMILIK – Zacharias Kunuk, Joel McConvey, Kristina McLaughlin, Kevin McMahon, Michael McMahon, Geoff Morrison, Ryan J. Noth
MEILLEUR COURT MÉTRAGE DRAMATIQUE / BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT DRAMA
* DOUBLES WITH SLIGHT PEPPER – Ian Harnarine
HOPE – Pedro Pires, Phoebe Greenberg, Penny Mancuso
ORA – René Chénier, Philippe Baylaucq
LA RONDE – Élaine Hébert, Sophie Goyette
MEILLEUR COURT MÉTRAGE D’ANIMATION / BEST ANIMATED SHORT
CHOKE – Michelle Latimer
LA CITÉ ENTRE LES MURS / INNER CITY – Alain Fournier
MUYBRIDGE’S STRINGS – Koji Yamamura, Michael Fukushima, Shuzo John Shiota, Keisuke Tsuchihashi
* ROMANCE – Georges Schwizgebel, René Chénier, Marc Bertrand
WILD LIFE – Amanda Forbis, Wendy Tilby, Marcy Page, Bonnie Thompson
Kaelen Meuiner and Garret Dillahunt Oliver Sherman image: The Film Works
Viggo Mortensen and Sarah Gadon photo via the Genie Awards Twitter page.
Fellag Monsieur Lazhar image: micro_scope
Philippe Falardeau quote via CBC.