Harvey Weinstein, the ardent alien from Queens who upended Hollywood, has always favourite to consider of himself as an underdog.
So there may have been no prouder moment for him than the night of Mar 21, 1999, when he stood on the theatre at the Academy Awards usurpation the best picture Oscar for “Shakespeare in Love,” which had won in a overwhelming dissapoint over Steven Spielberg’s “Saving Private Ryan.”
He was at the rise of his power. Running Miramax with his hermit Bob, he could spin art-house transport into mainstream hits, packet endowment nominations at an rare clip and make or mangle careers.
A 2015 consult of scarcely 1,400 Oscar acceptance speeches by the website Vocativ found that Weinstein was thanked some-more frequently than God.
Yet some of the applause that night came from people who secretly — or not-so-secretly — secure against him.
Many in Hollywood felt the feat for “Shakespeare in Love” was as much a credit to Weinstein’s dear and bitterly fought Oscar campaign as to the film’s merits.
And some just found him generally loathsome. Weinstein was, and is, as famous for his rage as for his taste. His repute for re-cutting directors’ cinema was so resolutely established, it warranted him the nickname Harvey Scissorhands.
And, according to a bombshell report in The New York Times last week, he sexually tormented a series of women, including film stars and employees.
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Even so, Weinstein reigned for years as one of the many absolute men in Hollywood, moving faithfulness as good as fear as he changed the film business in ways good and bad. Love him or hatred him, he was a man you wanted on your side.
Now, in the arise of the Times report, which minute decades of passionate nuisance accusations and payouts, Weinstein is anticipating that few in Hollywood wish to be on his side.
Weinstein’s change already had begun to low extremely in new years. The Weinstein Co. has faced poignant financial challenges, and new, deeper-pocketed competitors — including Amazon Studios, A24, Netflix and Fox Searchlight — have stolen the awards deteriorate spotlight.
As shortly as the story pennyless last week, Weinstein expelled a matter of apology, took a leave of deficiency from his company and then threatened to sue the Times. No one publicly came to his defense. Instead, some in Hollywood certified they were unsurprised by the stories of Weinstein’s diagnosis of women, observant they had prolonged been an open secret.
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“The only thing I’m astounded about,” one former Miramax executive who worked closely with Weinstein told the Los Angeles Times, “is how prolonged it took.”
Weinstein has prolonged embodied both Hollywood’s top aspirations and its misfortune impulses, which may explain in partial because the allegations against him have had such low reverberations via the industry.
“If we didn’t exist, they’d have to invent me,” Weinstein once said. “I’m the only engaging thing around.”
From the opening of his career, Weinstein cultivated the persona of a Damon Runyon-esque hustler and relentless climber, an updated book of an old-school studio mogul.
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The Weinstein brothers were 20-something unison promoters when in 1979 they started Miramax Film Corp., fixing the company after their parents, Miriam and Max.
In 1989, the Weinsteins shot to inflection when they bought the rights to recover Steven Soderbergh’s “sex, lies, and videotape” not prolonged after the film won the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival. The eventuality was not just a seismic moment for Miramax, Soderbergh and Sundance; it set the theatre for the blurb bang for eccentric film in the 1990s.
Over the years, countless other companies tried to replicate the Weinsteins’ regulation mixing awards victories and box-office success. But nothing could compare Miramax’s record of 249 Oscar nominations and 60 wins in just 15 years or broach crossover hits such as “The Crying Game,” “The Piano” and Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction,” the first eccentric film to mangle $100 million at the box office.
Weinstein is mostly credited with formulating the complicated Oscar campaign, throwing intemperate parties to schmooze awards electorate and carpet-bombing academy members with VHS screeners to safeguard that his cinema were not ignored.
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But Weinstein’s hold with Oscar transport hasn’t been as certain in new years. As the suit picture academy’s membership broadened, the increasingly cash-strapped company has found itself losing ground.
Last year, the Weinstein Co. warranted 6 Oscar nominations, including best picture, for the play “Lion,” but this year’s line-up is distant reduction promising, with only the murder poser “Wind River” as a long-shot hopeful.
Weinstein has fought his way out of tough corners before, always raised an unassailable spirit. But as the energy that once supposing a defense to his bad function has waned, some trust a lifetime of kismet has finally held up with him.
Three members of the Weinstein’s Co.’s nine-member house of directors have quiescent given the report was published. Four others, including Bob Weinstein, expelled a matter observant the house has systematic an eccentric review into the allegations.
And on Saturday, Weinstein lost two pivotal members of his authorised team: profession Lisa Bloom and predicament manager Lanny Davis.
Now the man who has always seemed to be spoiling for a fight has the biggest one of his life on his hands: a fight not for a bullion statuette or box-office bragging rights, but for his own survival.
With David Ng
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