April 04, 2005 at 04:00 AM EDT

Split Decisions

I just finished reading the cover story (”Breaking Up Is Hard to Do”), and I have never been as fascinated by an article in your magazine as I was by that one. Hats off to Mark Harris for writing a piece about one of the biggest and most influential companies in the business, taking us into the conflict, and showing us why this split between the Weinsteins and Disney has such a huge effect on their lives and ours.


It’s hard to have sympathy for either party in this year’s ”biggest showbiz split.” The Weinstein brothers have shown, from the inception of their careers, that besides understanding how to cultivate and cleverly market films, they understand the ins and outs of the entertainment industry. So what did they think when they sold their company to Disney, one of the more conservative studios? As for Disney, the reputation of the Weinsteins was well documented when this merger occurred, as was the controversial nature of their filmmaking taste. Did Michael Eisner actually lead the Mouse House to believe that it could rein in Harvey Scissorhands? Both parties sold out the inherent character of their organizations (Disney: family image; Weinsteins: independence), and both ended up getting burned. Anyone who couldn’t see this coming either wasn’t looking or was blind.

Newbury Park, Calif.

Owen Gleiberman’s critical appreciation of Miramax (”Why Miramax Mattered”) went from appreciative to downright whimsical. True, Miramax has had much success, but it’s ridiculous for everyone to be taking the split between Disney and the Weinsteins so dramatically. I see no end of an era in sight. Eventually, any two people as big as Harvey and Bob will have to break from the company holding them back. It’s called business! Disney doesn’t want to make small movies for so much money. And the Weinsteins want to do what they want without someone else controlling the reins.

Valley Village, Calif.

‘Dear’ Protector

Shame on you for giving the lovely new film Dear Frankie a D minus (Movies). Few films come around anymore that have the power to move an audience through joy and sorrow with delicate storytelling, acting, and real emotion. You wanna give someone a D minus, make it Miramax, who finally dusted off the cans and released it after letting it sit on a shelf for almost six months.


Voice Activated

Finally someone saw fit to give a bit of print space to my favorite audiobook reader, George Guidall (Books). His talent for storytelling grabbed me from the get-go and changed my criteria for choosing book titles. No longer was my choice guided by author and story synopsis, but simply ”Are they read by George Guidall?” I’ve discovered many wonderful books that I might otherwise have given a miss because I decided if George reads them, then they must be heard!

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