You can say lots of things about Harvey Weinstein: directors fear him as hell, the Academy doesn’t like him, but for sure you can’t get bored with him.
2014 was an other good year for The Weinstein Company, it saw an Oscar Winner, new productions for Netflix, a debated day-to-day release.
I honestly expected the Imitation Game to win the Oscar for Best Picture: it expresses a social issue, it’s awfully well done, it is the equivalent of 12 years slave last year, but this time on the ban of gay people from society and from public recognition. The Imitation Game just went away with Best Adapted Screenplay.
My guess is the Academy can’t stand Weinstein to the point that it prefer choosing Birdman than giving it to Weinstein. And so Harvey replied with the choice to offer free screenings to kids in school, he made a deal with AMC, and the news passed unnoticed.
I mean, Harvey is a pain in the ass. It will be hard for him to find a director after the Snow Piercer drama. Somebody already calls him “Harvey Scissor Hands”, even though at the end he kept the looong cut too! He just took the money away and opted for a day-and-day, with online release available the same day of the very very limited big screen debut.
He did Marco Polo for Netflix. Now it’s heavily criticized because it’s too expensive – $90 million make it the priciest show ever (but is 90 the real number?) -, now because it’s too Caucasian, now because it’s not that good after all, with just 30% on Rotten Tomatoes, which doesn’t render any justice anyway. I would remember to all the critics out there, that for one House of Cards or Orange is the new Black, Netflix offers 100 crappy titles that nobody will ever mention. Honestly I’m not a big fan of Marco Polo, after the oh-so-poor performance of Francesco Favino in the first episode, I just couldn’t go on. Call it Italian pride if you want.
Harvey doesn’t have many friends out there.
He opened 2015 with Paddington – $70 million in the US, $230 million worldwide for a budget of $55 million -, next will be Woman in Gold, then he will go back to the far East for Marco Polo season 2 and Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon.
It’s hard to polish a bad reputation, it’s hard to switch fear and jealousy into respect and esteem. Probably he doesn’t even try to make friends. That’s what I like about his sharp shark personality, he just goes straight, smells the air to see any change, squeezes costs, applies counterintelligence on the competition, broadens on international, and most of all, he markets as hell.