Nicole Kidman and Rooney Mara, as well as the casts of “Mandela” and “Fruitvale Station” helped Harvey Weinstein present his roster of 2013 coming releases. And as I suspected, The Weinstein Company may have most of the best lead and supporting actresses for the Oscars.
From the looks of things, the Weinstein schedule is packed with potential Oscar nominees. It’s the strongest slate I’ve seen from the company including when they were Miramax. They’ve just bought Stephen Frears’s “Philomena” which will–from what I hear– bring Dame Judi Dench a lead nomination.
Then there’s “Grace of Monaco” with Nicole Kidman, “August: Osage County” with Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts, and “The Butler” with Oprah Winfrey. That doesn’t count Rooney Mara from “Ain’t the Bodies Saints” and Kristen Scott Thomas from “Only God Forgives.” Then there’s Octavia Spencer from “Fruitvale Station.”
And those are just the actresses.
The annual presentation of clips and trailers the Majestic Hotel was sold out, of course with standing room three deep. By accident I actually got to sit in the very front row with Rooney Mara, an exceptionally nice and extremely shy young woman whom Weinstein called on stage at one point to introduce “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints.” Like everyone else in the room, she clapped spontaneously at the end of the clip of Scott-Thomas, nearly unrecognizable, in “Only God Forgives.”
Harvey joked about not asking “August: Osage County” producer George Clooney to help him introduce the film because “I’m still pissed at him for winning for Argo.” H said that he once tried to get a meeting to discuss making JD Salinger’s “Catcher in the Rye” into a film. He wrote a letter and was told he was :”like 9000 on the list. Elia Kazan and Mike Nichols were actually in the running once.”
Harvey introduced the filmmakers for “Mandela: The Long Walk to Freedom,” a movie he’s been trying to make since the 1990s. His voice actually trembled when he recalled meeting Nelson Mandela in New York right after the South African leader was let of his 27 year jail term.
Other movies about Mandela have been made. “This is the kick ass version of Mandela.” Weinstein declared.
More on “Fruitvale Station,” a great movie, coming up in another filing…
PS Kidman headed from the presentation over to a private dinner given by Colin Firth and wife Livia on the Johnny Walker yacht in the main marina. I will say she looks incredibly like Grace Kelly in the clips we saw, stunningly beautiful…