“Is that a real tattoo?” Harvey Weinstein, asked The New York Observer last night at the French Embassy on Park Ave and 78th. The producing legend had just finished trading off speeches with two French officials (including an ambassador who kept noting how cold our hands were…bad circulation, we guess) who praised the Miramax founder for his ability to consistently recognize the brilliance of French cinema.
The most recent example cited was not The Artist, though that award-winning silent feature was mentioned several times. No sign of Uggie trolling around the Embassy either, though during our search we did run into Dan Abrams and Dave Zinczenko. Mr. Abrams gently corrected our congratulations on his new site about celebrity chefs after we mistakenly claimed to have read the news in The New York Post.
“No, I don’t think so…The New York Times had a story on it, though,” Mr. Abrams said, politely swerving our faux pas. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. So about Harvey Weinstein and this party…
Technically, the Moet & Chandon celebratory toast to Mr. Weinstein was being held in honor of his acceptance of the Legion d’honneur, an award created by Napoleon Bonaparte. It was not an an after-party to Mr. Weinstein’s latest oversees acquisition, The Intouchables. But leave it to the entrepreneur to find a way to combine what essentially amounts to a knighthood with a marketing tie-in. The film had screened earlier that evening at the Paley Center, where Bette Midler, Hammish Bowles, and Fabiola Beracasa (proudly sporting her baby bump) gave the portly producer cheek kisses before viewing France’s second biggest box office hit of all time. Mr. Weinstein will be bringing The Intouchables–which is about a rich quadriplegic and his black caretaker from the projects–over to America on May 25th.
But if this wasn’t an after-party, what were we to make of publicist Peggy Siegal running around, directing interns with heavy chairs through throngs of people so that Mr. Weinsteins family could all sit down? Oh, apparently she was just a “good friend of Harvey’s.”
So was French president Nicolas Sarkozy, who didn’t make it to the “not after-party” party, but sent a note on behalf of his country. Mr. Weinstein later informed the crowd that President Sarkozy was his youngest child’s godfather.
Now that the Weinstein Brothers are back on top, we certainly didn’t want to cause any trouble, unlike the infamous story of the former New York Observer staffer who ended up being escorted out of a party in a headlock by the enraged bear responsible for Pulp Fiction‘s distribution.
“If we tell you about the tattoo, do you promise not to put us in a headlock and drag us out of here?” We asked a considerably fairer-weather Mr. Weinstein.
“Of course not! I love Jared Kushner!” The industry titan roared. We didn’t feel that much safer, as our publisher did not happen to be standing in the room with us at the moment.
Still, it was a good night to be Harvey Weinstein, and he let us off the hook easy. Champagne bottles were uncorked, strange fish plates were passed around, and half of the Weinstein Company joined the esteemed ranks of Glenn Ford, Bono, and David Cronenberg as a recipient of France’s highest honor.
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