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French President Sarkozy Names Harvey Weinstein Recipient of the 2012 Legion d'Honneur

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood March 2, 2012 at 7:33PM

Nicolas Sarkozy has named Harvey Weinstein a recipient of the 2012 Légion d'Honneur, in recognition of Weinstein's decades of contribution to international cinema.
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Harvey Weinstein, Berenice Bejo, Jean Dujardin and Thomas Langmann
Harvey Weinstein, Berenice Bejo, Jean Dujardin and Thomas Langmann

Nicolas Sarkozy is honoring Harvey Weinstein with the 2012 Légion d'Honneur, in recognition of Weinstein's decades of contribution to international cinema. In other words, the French president is very pleased that Weinstein ushered "The Artist" from its debut at last year's Cannes Film Festival to its multiple Oscar wins last Sunday.

The renowned Légion d'Honneur was established by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802 and remains France's highest civilian honnor. Weinstein was nominated by Sarkozy in 2011 and will receive the award at a ceremony to take place in Paris. At the time of the nomination, President Sarkozy wrote that Weinstein "has always shown great friendship towards our country and our cinema, which [he has] enabled so many Americans to discover.”

Weinstein cited French movies as one of the reasons for his success, saying “All my life, I have loved and been inspired by French cinema.  I am still the young boy who walked two miles to The Mayfair movie theater in Flushing, New York to see films by the greats – Lelouch, Godard, Renoir and my personal favorite François Truffaut. They inspired me and led me to the place I am in today."

This article is related to: The Weinstein Co., Harvey Weinstein, Nicolas Sarkozy


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.