Like The Kid Stays In The Picture with stories about putting New York Observer reporters in headlocks swapped in for sex scenes with Ali MacGraw, Barry Avich’s documentary Unauthorized: The Harvey Weinstein Project now has IFC as a distributor—much to Weinstein’s chagrin, no doubt, seeing as Weinstein tried several desperate tactics to get Avrich to ditch the project before he even made it, including concocting the lie that his pal Quentin Tarantino was going to make a movie about him first. But what does Weinstein have to worry about here, really? For one thing, it’s not as though the guy who prides himself on being called Hollywood’s “Last Bully” has never basically been called an asshole before—or that he even has anything substantial to lose from a supposed character assassination. After all, part of Weinstein’s appeal is that he’s regarded as one of the industry’s last great tycoons, a modern-day, foulmouthed Irving Thalberg whose unapologetic, take-no-prisoners assholishness links him to old Hollywood glamour, unlike today’s Converse-wearing, number-crunching nerds such as Relativity Media’s Ryan Kavanaugh. We’re all about “heritage” brands this year, right? So embrace it.
For another thing, for all Weinstein’s apparent fears, this thing actually sounds like a borderline hagiography: True, it’s described as “a powerful, uncensored, no-holds-barred account”—which suggests it’ll have lots of swears!—but it also “traces Weinstein's path from concert promoter on the cold streets of Buffalo to his first trip to the Cannes Film Festival, where he arrived with one pair of pants and closed his first movie deal, to winning an Oscar, and breaking the bank with his first $100 million film.” It sounds like the Jewish version of Get Rich Or Die Tryin’, and it’s narrated by freaking Peter Fonda. How bad could it possibly be?