Posts Tagged ‘Oscars’

Harvey Weinstein Owns the Oscars

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

Ever since a wave of gift baskets turned the tide of the 1998 Academy Awards*, Harvey Weinstein has proved himself to be the King of the Oscars.  Manipulating a score of Awards nominations has driven millions of extra viewers and extra dollars towards Miramax and Weinstein Company films over the years.  You may not like his tactics, but it’s impossible to argue the results.  We’ll get to the results, but first let’s talk about those tactics that have really pissed off the average fan over the years and brought down a variety of rules changes on campaigning from The Academy itself.

Meryl Streep won her third Academy Award this past Sunday for her performance as British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the 2012 film The Iron Lady.  Wait a minute?  This movie came out on January 13th, 2012…then why did she win Best Actress for the 2011 Academy Awards?  This is where Harvey Weinstein comes in.  The Iron Lady was a stinker, nobody liked it and outside of Meryl Streep turning in another great, great performance and it was a disaster at the domestic box office.  But if Meryl Streep is nominated for an Oscar, let alone if she wins, it will mean huge amounts of extra revenue in extended box office life and DVD sales.   This is what Harvey Weinstein thought and that is exactly what has happened.  According to and, the film didn’t have a wide release until January 13, 2012.  There was a limited release to four theaters on December 30th, 2011, which still wouldn’t qualify this film for the 2011 Academy Awards.  According to the Academy’s Rules of Eligibility the film needs to have a paid theatrical run to the public of at least seven consecutive days in Los Angeles County prior to December 31st, 2011.  While Weinstein made this run happen in time, this is hardly in keeping with the spirits of the 2011 Academy Awards.  Allowing this tactic to succeed shows the elitist bent of the Academy and shows that they don’t care whether the viewers, who pay the money to profit the films and finance the awards shows actually have a chance to see the film in the year it is being rewarded for.  This is unjust and infuriating.  There is a disconnect between what the people deserve from the Academy Awards and what Harvey Weinstein is willing to do to increase his return on investment.

*Now back to those gift baskets I mentioned.  With full page ads in Variety and gift baskets of swag sent to the right Academy members, Harvey Weinstein managed to fight aginst the public’s opinion to force a surprise Best Picture win for his film Shakespeare in Love over Steven Spielberg’s moving, character driven war film, Saving Private Ryan.  This should have never happened.  That makes two big black eyes for The Academy when it comes to Harvey Weinstein.  Disgusting.

But to be fair, Harvey Weinstein is a genius.  He provides a major channel for the release of foreign films in the U.S. in addition to his long-standing relationships with Woody Allen and Quinten Tarantino.  Here are some of the best of what he’s distrubuted through Miramax and The Weinstein Co.: My Left Foot, The Grifters, Reservoir Dogs, The Piano, Clerks, Pulp Fiction, Il Postino, Sling Blade, Trainspotting, The English Patient, Swingers, Good Will Hunting, Air Bud: Golden Receiver, Life is Beautiful, Skakespeare in Love, Amelie, Chicago, The Hours, The Aviator, Tsotsi, The Queen, Gone Baby Gone, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, There Will Be Blood, The King’s Speech, and the latest and the 2011 Best Picture winner The Artist.

If you’ve curious to read for yourself the Rules and Eligibility for the Academy Awards, it’s not a bad read.  Here’s a link:

The Academy Awards – Going a New Direction

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

What direction are the Academy Awards going in?  Down.  Even though the official announcement is yet to be made, it has been leaked that James Franco and Anne Hathaway will be hosting this year’s Oscars on February 27th 2011.  This marks the second year in a row that the hosting duties will be shared.  Last year a couple of nobodies named Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin somehow managed to do an awesome job hosting the show, but move over you has-beens, the Academy Awards are bringing in two hip, cool, multi-dimensional people to alienate all but nine percent of the viewing audience, Franco and Hathaway.

This is the equivalent of the producers of The Itchy and Scratchy show bringing in Poochie the Dog to keep things fresh on The Simpsons.  What the hell are they thinking?  Can you imagine those two introducing actual award winners to open the envelopes this year?  They’re going to be upstaged by everybody.  Can’t wait to feel the gravitas they’ll bring to the In Memorium tribute to all the stars we lost this last year.

Actually, I have nothing against James Franco, that guy is actually cool.  He’s casual, funny, and a good actor.  127 Hours was great.  He strikes me like he’s got Rat Pack cool.  Confidence.  Hathaway on the other hand?  I was listening to her on NPR’s Fresh Air yesterday afternoon and she had absolutely nothing to offer.  She spent five minutes trying to justify taking her clothes off in every movie since The Princess Diaries and the rest of the time blowing smoke about how great all her co-stars are in some completely ignored art house junk.

The Academy Awards are my Christmas in February, better than my birthday.  Why, why, why was Anne Hathaway invited to the party?  And the winner is…not anyone watching the Academy Awards this coming February.  Man, why did they do this?  For me, you have to earn the Academy Awards.

A Good Year, Not a Golden One

Sunday, January 31st, 2010

I’ve never been a big Golden Globes watcher.  I think it’s got something to do with how they mix in the TV and the movies.  And maybe how they’ve got awards for best comedy movie and best dramatic movie.  There should be one best picture every year.  I just love the class of the Academy Awards, even though somebody should remind them that a comedy can be a best picture and so can a cartoon and they shouldn’t need a ridiculous ten nominees to recognize that.

Ricky Gervais hosted this year’s awards so I couldn’t stay away.  And they were good.  Not great, but good.  Gervais was really funny.  He’s so confident up there, drinking beer, pitching his shows and books and tours unabashadedly.  The guy is just too good for someone else’s show.  He needs and deserves his own forum.  And, wow.  Christina Aguilera looked unreal.  She dressed to the nines.  The last of the best for me was Mickey Rourke.  During a break for commercial he was talking to Mike Tyson.  Mickey Rourke one of the only guys in Hollywood who you’d believe Tyson would want to talk to himself and just the star trying to look cool next to the champ.  Rourke was so funny, too, when he named Sandra Bullock as Best Actress and looked so pissed.  He actually looks at the envelope a second time to make sure he didn’t miss something.  She was really great in the Blind Side, though.  It’s the kind of performance that sometimes falls through the crack at the Academy Awards, glad it got recognized here.  And a good speech from Sandra.  They tried to cut her off, too though.

Then, talk about the most annoying person ever.  Chloe Sevigny complained that someone ripped her dress while she’s accepting her Golden Globe.  That’s an actress that’s got her priorities straight.  “Oh man, my Vera Wang!  If I didn’t win this award this never would have happened.  Thanks a lot Hollywood Foreign Press.”  The speeches weren’t that exciting, other than Christoph Waltz who deservedly, so deservedly, won for Inglorious Basterds.  It doesn’t help that they cut everybody off as right from the gun.  And why?!  So we can get to local news.  So Warner Saunders can depress me about school closures and car accidents?  I hate the cutoff.  Why give them a fucking award if you don’t want to hear them thank you for it?!!!  And I don’t think I like Jason Reitman.  Up in the Air was good, but how does he stand up there and say he expected only Tarantino of the five nominees in his category to win other than himself.  I’d feel pretty crappy if I was a Mark Boal who wrote The Hurt Locker or Nancy Meyers, or the District 9 crew (but not as much if I wrote District 9).  Then he looks like such a sourpuss when James Cameron wins Best Director.  Maybe someone should have him write his last into IMDB and see what pops up.  Probably a much better director.

All in all, I’m not a convert, they didn’t do it this year.  But it was good to see TV shows I really like get recognized, like Glee winning for Best Television Series (Comedy or Musical).  The Golden Globes are something you watch and if you’ve got to do something else while you watch them, no problem.  It’s not like I had a Golden Globe party with sticks and a pool.  No sir.  I have an Oscar Party.