It’s a great year for Harvey Weinstein. The Weinstein Company co-chairman is the 2012 recipient of the Legion d’ Honneur awarded by France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy. The distinction was conferred last July but Weinstein wisely requested, according to a press release, “to keep the honor private to avoid a conflict of interest with Academy Award Best Picture winner The Artist.”
Completing his introduction to a packed Alice Tully Hall, Weinstein shouted out to the French politician who deems The Intouchables a parable about crippled France rescued by immigrants, a hot topic in any country, politicized. Weinstein said he had two words for him, and they weren’t Happy Birthday.
Among the French filmmakers attending the Rendez-vous screening were Intouchable star Francoise Cluzet, and directors Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache who offered with reference to The Artist’s five Oscars, “It’s a great year for French cinema.”