Despite reports to the contrary Harvey Weinstein told me he doesn’t believe the Australian musical The Sapphires is going to become another The Artist. Weinstein claims he was taken out of context in a Los Angeles newspaper report after the out-of-competition film premiered to an enthusiastic response and prolonged ovation (they all are in Cannes) at its official premiere Saturday night. He was quoted as saying “Have you seen ‘The Sapphires‘? The Artist just happened again”. At tonight’s party and concert for the film at the JW Marriott that followed a special screening, Weinstein told me he does not think the feel-good movie, a sort of Aboriginal Dreamgirls, is necessarily another Oscar contender for the company. He calls it an entertaining comedy-musical he hopes will draw good word of mouth and turn out to be a sleeper hit. He says the report was misleading and claims to have no Oscar ambitions anywhere near the level of The Artist, which (like Sapphires) was picked up right as Cannes kicked off and went on to win 5 Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Actor.
Weinstein has been on a roll so far, picking up several titles, although he says some of those deals were done before the fest opened and announced during the Cannes window (other titles revealed on Deadline include Quartet, Haute Cuisine and the Libyan doc, The Oath Of Tobruk). He and Weinstein Co. COO David Glasser told me unequivocally that they are not planning on buying anything else at this year’s Cannes. Weinstein is very excited though about his 2012 and beyond slate, and at a Majestic Hotel cocktail party tomorrow night will unveil first-look footage for the press from some highly anticipated films for which he does have high Oscar (and boxoffice of course) hopes including The Master, The Silver Linings Playbook and the Quentin Tarantino western Django Unchained. (more…)