Harvey Weinstein's tough week didn't get any easier today, with his Marley family squabbles and Star Wars-geek travails cycling back around this morning to the Anthony Minghella tragedy that started it all. Except that film critic David Edelstein had more than what you might call a moment of clarity in his New York Magazine blog entry slamming Harvey for the filmmaker's artistic demise:
Now that the shock of Anthony Minghella's sudden death has dissipated slightly, I think it's less unseemly to say that this brilliant and soulful filmmaker died unfulfilled. ... And I can't help thinking that what happened has something to do with someone whose name rhymes with Shmarvey Shmeinstein. ...
Why did he complete only six films (counting one in the can) in the eighteen years between Truly, Madly, Deeply and his death? Where were the gutsy little modestly budgeted movies — good or bad or uneven — that could have kept him rooted? ... It's not that he was forced to make crap. It's not that his movies were entirely mangled by big hairy paws. It's that an artist who could have set an example for gutsy personal filmmaking surrendered his autonomy — as so many others have done — in the name of someone (or shmomeone) else's ego.
Look, it's a dense essay that deserves a complete read-through. Nevertheless, the downplaying of Minghella's accountability for his own work — including five collaborations with Miramax and The Weinstein Company — is one of several glaring vacuums into which a relapsing Harvey is no doubt exhaling full packs' worth of cigarette smoke and blinking pure Diet Coke tears this afternoon. And while we don't necessarily believe that Harvey is capable of this kind of lethal sociopathy with his filmmakers, we'd strongly encourage Edelstein to listen closely to any unmarked parcels for a few seconds before opening them.