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