Harvey Weinstein Legion of Honor + Nicolas Sarkozy Letter Kept Secret During Oscar Race

Harvey Weinstein Legion d'Honneur Chevalier Nicolas SarkozyHarvey Weinstein: Legion d'Honneur Chevalier nominated by French president Nicolas Sarkozy.

Oscar race secret: Harvey Weinstein Legion of Honor 'nomination'

Below is a letter (dated July 22, '11) 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.

Yours sincerely,

Nicolas Sarkozy

Oscar secret

Harvey Weinstein's Legion of Honor “nomination” was made public only today (March 2, '12), 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.

Besides Jean Dujardin as a Douglas Fairbanks-John Gilbert type, The Artist features:

Best Supporting Actress Oscar nominee Bérénice Bejo. Uggie. Penelope Ann Miller. John Goodman. Missi Pyle. James Cromwell. Veteran Malcolm McDowell (If…., A Clockwork Orange).

The Weinstein Company movies

Among the films distributed either by The Weinstein Company or by Weinstein's previous distribution entity, Miramax, are:

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:

Audrey Tautou Amelie international box office hit nominated OscarsAudrey Tautou in Amélie: International box office hit nominated for five Oscars.

French movies

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:

Satyajit Ray. Charles Chaplin. Olivia de Havilland. Robert Redford. Marlene Dietrich. Michelle Yeoh. Akira Kurosawa. Liza Minnelli.

David Cronenberg. Céline Dion. Emir Kusturica. Clint Eastwood. Robert De Niro. Sylvester Stallone. Steven Spielberg.

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.

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