Spotlight on: Harvey Weinstein, Co-chairman, the Weinstein Company
Stephen Foley is a former Associate Business Editor of The Independent, based in New York. He left in August 2012. In a decade at the paper, he covered personal finance, the UK stock market and the pharmaceuticals industry, and had also been the Business section's share tipster. Between arriving with three suitcases in Manhattan in January 2006 and his departure, he witnessed and reported on a great economic boom turning spectacularly to bust. In March 2009, he was named Business and Finance Journalist of the Year at the British Press Awards.
Tuesday 28 February 2012
And the winner is... Yes, after the Oscars, who can doubt that the brothers Weinstein, Harvey and his younger sibling Bob, are back on top in Hollywood? The Weinstein Company distributed The Artist in the US, and orchestrated its campaign to win Best Picture, and that wasn't the only one of the firm's movies taking plaudits.
Which others? American football flick Undefeated won in the Best Documentary category, and Meryl Streep got a gong for playing Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady. At the Golden Globes earlier this year, Streep namechecked Weinstein in her acceptance speech: "I'd like to thank God, Harvey Weinstein."
God? The Old Testament one, obviously. Weinstein's furious temper is a Hollywood legend, as is his vengefulness. He once threw a journalist out of a party, escorting them to the door in a headlock.
He can be proud of his creations, right? He and his brothers clawed their way to the top in Tinseltown. Their first firm, Miramax, named after their parents, Miriam and Max, struck it big with Sex, Lies and Videotape and managed to make blockbuster returns from arthouse fare. He and his brother sold it to Disney, but the relationship wasalways volatile and they stormed out in 2005 to set up on their own again.
And this is the resurrection of Harvey Weinstein? It had looked, in 2009, that it might be the end of the reel for The Weinstein Company, after a string of flops – Nine, anyone? – and a pile of debt owed to Goldman Sachs. A fire sale and layoffs kept the firm alive, and The King's Speech in 2010 restored it to health. Now the comeback is complete.
Hollywood does love a sequel Weinstein high-fived producer Thomas Langmann when The Artist was announced as winner on Sunday night. It is an incredible storyline – not the movie, but Weinstein's.
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