Harvey Weinstein tells me that, for the first time ever, he plans to personally make the appeal to the MPAA this Wednesday. He will urge them to reduce his award season hopeful Blue Valentine’s current NC-17 rating to a more exhibition-friendly R instead. He was in town briefly last week and I caught up with him in the lobby of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Friday night where he showed up to support his stars Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams who were doing a Q&A after a SAG nominating committee screening. “Usually just my lawyers do the appeals, but this time I am going to,” he told me. He noted that his companies have been involved in many appeals over the years but have only won a handful of times. He’s obviously hoping this is going to be one of them, especially with his own personal plea.
Whatever the outcome, it’s clear no one milks ratings controversies for the free publicity better than Harvey. As he perused the Academy’s incredible poster displays on the walls of the Linwood Dunn (“That’s Sophia Loren in Marriage Italian Style. She was in my movie Pret A Porter”), Weinstein said he thought the awards campaign for The King’s Speech was going smoothly. He’s happy now with its new poster (the first one left something to be desired). But Harv said he really, really wants Golden Globe (and Oscar, of course) attention for Blue Valentine too. After the SAG screening he planned to follow the stars to their next stop, a BAFTA Q&A at the Pacific Design Center. Harv is in full award season battle mode now and obviously relishing the strong early limited run grosses for his Kings’ Speech. (more…)