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4 Confessions From Harvey Weinstein About This Year's Oscar Nominees


Harvey Weinstein Quentin Tarantino Awards

Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein recently sat down for a lengthy Q&A with Deadline's Mike Fleming in which the pair discussed everything from paying for content on the internet to President Obama.

But it was interesting to hear what Weinstein, who is behind two of the nine Best Picture nominees at this year's Oscars ("Silver Linings Playbook,""Django Unchained"), thinks of his competition come February 24.

1. Here's what Weinstein says — or doesn't say — about his Oscar competitors:

  • "Life of Pi": "Brilliant, Ang Lee at his absolute best."
  • "Lincoln": "A masterpiece."
  • "Argo": "Ben Affleck hit it out of the ballpark."
  • "Amour": "Amazing, and those guys did such a good job getting that film noticed and nominated."
  • "Beasts of the Southern Wild,""Les Miserables": "Stupendous year."
  • "Zero Dark Thirty": He literally says nothing about it, just lists the film as a contender. Weinstein has notorious beef with the film's director Kathryn Bigelow after he released the competing "Seal Team Six" ahead of Bigelow's film also documenting the killing of Osama bin Laden.

2. The Weinstein company co-chair also takes on Megan Ellison, who produced "Zero Dark Thirty," as well as this year's "The Master" alongside Weinstein. The two have reportedly been feuding since working together on the film.

DEADLINE: What about Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master? Will you make money?

WEINSTEIN: Probably not, and I just feel bad for Megan Ellison on that. I think it’s a great movie and God bless her for bringing these great movies into the world.

DEADLINE: Why didn’t it click with a wider audience?

WEINSTEIN: I probably could have marketed it better. I probably should have prepared the audience. We opened up to the highest per screen average ever, but I think the audience had trouble with the movie and needed to be guided and eased into it. I was so enamored with the film that I didn’t think the audience would have that trouble. Other people around me did say the audience would have trouble, but I personally loved the movie and Paul. Maybe I would have done him more of a favor being a devil’s advocate instead of a cheerleader. I seem to do better when I’m playing devil’s advocate. I do think the film will stand up and have a long life down the line.

3. Weinstein, who additionally distributed "Django Unchained," also addressed Quentin Tarantino's Best Director snub by the Academy.

DEADLINE: Was Quentin robbed with no nomination for Best Director?

WEINSTEIN: I don’t want to use the word “robbed,” but Quentin Tarantino not in the running for Best Director? He is one of the greatest directors of our time. Here’s what I think happened on Django. We finished the movie December 1. We didn’t show it until a few days later. The race was early this year: the voting cutoff was January 3. We tried to show it to people in theaters, not on DVD. It’s an epic movie and that man put his whole life and heart into this. It’s his most important movie, his most important subject matter, and the idea of DVDs stopped me cold. And I stopped them. I wouldn’t do it.

4. As for campaigning for trophies, Weinstein says he'll stick to publicly backing politicians instead of filmmakers.

DEADLINE: Everybody says you do this Oscar campaigning the best…

WEINSTEIN: It’s always about the movies. I don’t know what people think we’re campaigning. Where? Have you seen me campaigning?

DEADLINE: No. Well, for President Obama.

WEINSTEIN: That’s about the only campaigning I’ve done this year and last.

To read the rest of the revealing Q&A on Deadline, click here >

SEE ALSO: Harvey Weinstein wants people to pay for content on the internet >

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