SAVING HARVEY’S PRIVATES – Four good to great movies were nominated for the Best Picture Oscar for 1998 – “Saving Private Ryan”, “Elizabeth”, “Thin Red Line” and “Life is Beautiful” – but it was the fifth, the light and flaky “Shakespeare in Love”, which surprisingly won the golden statuette. I was always curious how on Earth did the Academy make that bizarre selection. Then I read this story this morning:

But when the ’98 Best Picture race is debated, the margin of victory for Shakespeare in Love usually comes down to one thing: Harvey Weinstein leaned on the Oscars like never before — which is saying something for a man who was often single-mindedly obsessed with awards — in order to secure the win.

Why the extra special treatment for Shakespeare, after The English Patient had already won Miramax its first Best Picture Oscar? Part of the answer probably lies in the fact that Weinstein was one of the listed producers who would receive an Oscar statue if Shakespeare won, something that hadn’t happened with Miramax’s earlier triumph.

Is there anything this animal hasn’t f***ed?