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Review: Ken Auletta’s “Hollywood Ending” is More Like A Beginning, Finds No “Rosebud Clue” in the Case of Harvey Weinstein


Family books Review: Ken Auletta’s ‘Hollywood Ending’ Is More of a Beginning, Finds No…

Ken Aureta is a well-known legend in New York literary circles. A respected journalist and researcher, he was married to one of the biggest literary agents. He writes for The New Yorker. Everyone respects him, especially apparently Maureen Dodd of The New York Times, who wrote him a gushing, embarrassing lover in Thursday’s paper. (After reading it, I felt like I needed to take a shower and smoke a cigarette.)

Auletta has waited 20 years to write a book about Harvey Weinstein, ever since he was thwarted in his 2002 attempt. Here it is now. The heavily annotated “Hollywood Ending” will be published by Penguin next Tuesday. guess what? I only mentioned it once on page 152. Auletta is correct. I’ve never received a penny from Harvey Weinstein (though he says many other journalists have received over the years).

“Hollywood Ending” is a superficial account of Weinstein’s life, career, accomplishments and horrific crimes. It relies too much on the words of Harvey’s brother Bob’s ferret, and on existing materials. Auletta is an amazing writer, so he weaves all of this information together in a convincing way. But he never punched Harvey. No hard evidence, no big revelations, nothing new, unless you’re interested in what Bob Weinstein said again. I met Bob the other day and he was a bad guy so I didn’t buy his merchandise. (I’m sure he knew all about what happened.) But even Bob tells Auletta at the end of the book: “You’re looking for Rosebud for clues as to why Harvey did what he did. You never will get that.”

Aureta told me when I talked to me two years ago that he was interested in Harvey’s childhood. His reporting there was excellent. He’s also very good at assembling the puzzle pieces of Weinstein’s final trial and its aftermath. If you’re not paying close attention to the trial (that’s me, because of the pandemic and family issues), this is the blow.

But it’s something in the middle that I feel is lacking. Harvey Weinstein’s story is not black and white. Auletta’s wife, Amanda “Binky” Urban, told Dowd that the author was only looking for gray areas. In “Hollywood Ending,” however, gray is a little missing. Many names from the Miramax/Weinstein era are gone. I mean, a lot. I and others have really covered a lot of great stories about what happened over 30 years. Some things are wrong — like the New York Observer writer’s dusting that happened the night before the 2000 election, not the night. that kind of thing. I should know. When Weinstein threatened to kill Observer writer Andrew Goldman, I followed Weinstein into the middle of Church Street in Tribeca.

Everyone covering Miramax knows that Weinstein is cheating, romping with beautiful young things, and sex is in the air. We believe the women involved in these exchanges understand the usual ground rules. No one – no one – knew that violence and force was involved. We never thought about it, and none of the women said a word until an Italian model filed a claim against Weinstein in 2015. (Given her history, even this seemed plausible at the time).

But reading this book, we still don’t quite understand how we got here and why a man on top of the world with Oscars, fame, power and money needs to destroy it all, himself, his family. Harvey can be two-faced, cunning and mean. But he can also rise to heights and occasions like everyone else, and achieve. Then there’s hidden sexual violence. Unfortunately, “Hollywood Finale” was more of a start, leaving a lot of unanswered questions.


Roger Friedman started his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years at Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His film reviews are handled by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of the Critics’ Choice Awards Film and Television Division. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years, including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid-’90s and covered OJ Simpson’s trial, and Fox News where he covered Michael Jackson (which wasn’t that crazy at the time). ). He is also the writer and co-producer of “Only the Strong Survive” directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus at Cannes, Sundance and Telluride.

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