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Harvey Weinstein Previews Awards Slate at Cannes

Thompson on Hollywood By Brian Brooks | Thompson on Hollywood May 17, 2013 at 5:02PM

Harvey Weinstein took advantage of Cannes' many attendees to gather some of them together in order to tease TWC's upcoming films and get a head start on the next round of Awards season. That has been the modus operandi of The Weinstein in recent years, which had held more intimate affairs at swanky flats off the Croisette and today opted for a make-shift screening room.
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Harvey Weinstein and Nicole Kidman
Brian Brooks Harvey Weinstein and Nicole Kidman

Harvey Weinstein took advantage of Cannes' many attendees to gather some of them together in order to tease TWC's upcoming films and get a head start on the next round of Awards season. That has been the modus operandi of The Weinstein in recent years, which had held more intimate affairs at swanky flats off the Croisette and today opted for a make-shift screening room (after obligatory cocktails and hors d'oeuvres in an adjoining room).

"The last four years have been amazing with movies like 'The King's Speech,' 'Django Unchained,' 'Silver Linings Playbook,' 'The Artist' -- we've reached new heights," said Harvey Weinstein, squeezed into a dapper tux.  "Last year was as good as any year at Miramax. Our international business keeps building as well."

With a packed room of about a couple hundred press, festival programmers and special guests, Weinstein thanked his staff and introduced Cannes juror Nicole Kidman. But the timing was off a tad and she wasn't ready, which prompted him to joke that he was going to "fire all the people on staff I just thanked."

To fill in the gap, Weinstein talked about Shane Salerno's literary biodoc "Salinger," which was one of 11 trailers and clips TWC displayed Friday evening. "This will be the first footage anyone has seen [of Salinger] in the world," he said.

And then nearly on cue, Kidman arrived to plug her upcoming "Grace of Monaco." Set in 1962, the film revolves around a showdown between the French government and its maverick leader, Charles de Gaulle, and the tiny principality wedged between the Mediterranean and its large neighbor France. De Gaulle had blockaded Monaco over a festering tax issue.

Said Weinstein: "This is the seventh movie in which I've worked with Nicole Kidman, including 'The Hours,' for which she won the Oscar."

Nicole Kidman as Grace of Monaco
Nicole Kidman as Grace of Monaco


"This is almost two decades in which I've been able to work with Harvey and I'm so glad he decided 'Grace' is for him," said Kidman. "I spent a good portion of last year working in this area and got to know Grace well. I researched her and fell in love with her and I got to work with a French crew, including [director] Olivier Dahan who I adore…We'll get to see the movie at some stage, but not today."

As Kidman exited the room, Weinstein again turned the joke on himself, asking which of his movies she'd give him the Palme d'Or for, as laughter filled the room.

The order of trailers spotlighted at Friday's event included:

"The Butler" by Lee Daniels (October 18)
"Ain't Them Bodies Saints" by David Lowery (TWC has international rights)
"August: Osage County" by John Wells (November 8)
"Salinger" by Shane Salerno (September 6)
"The Immigrant" by James Gray (undated, Cannes competition)
"Grace of Monaco" by Olivier Dahan (December 27)
"Only God Forgives" by Nicolas Winding Refn (Radius-TWC, July 19, Cannes competition)
"The Grandmaster" by Wong Kar-wai (August 23)
"One Chance" by David Frankel (undated)
"Fruitvale Station" by Ryan Coogler (July 12, Un Certain Regard)
"Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" by Justin Chadwick (November 29)

At the end of the event, Weinstein gave a shout out to indies generally saying that "it's not just about us, but all independent movies," and expressed his hope that European films in particular would maintain their government funding mechanisms which has allowed movies from the continent to distinguish themselves.

"We can't let Europe go to be the same as the United States. What's great about European movies is that they're different. As long as they reflect their culture there will always be movies like "Amour," which we didn't release, but it was brilliant last year…."

This article is related to: Harvey Weinstein, Grace of Monaco, Cannes Film Festival, Nicole Kidman, Fruitvale Station, Only God Forgives, The Immigrant, Festivals, The Grandmaster


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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.