‘The Hateful Eight’ Is a Comedy According to Producer Harvey Weinstein
In recent years, the Oscars, Emmys, and Golden Globes have become plagued by what awards-news observers have taken to calling “category fraud,” a practice in which an awards contender is deliberately entered in a category that may not fit the actual submission, but is generally understood to be less competitive, therefore making it easier to secure a win.
This slightly unsavory loophole can be applied to actresses as well as entire films; back in 2010, Hailee Steinfeld never would’ve stood a chance in the Best Actress category for her portrayal as steely Mattie Ross in the Coens’ True Grit, so producer Scott Rudin ushered her to submit herself in the Supporting Actress race even though she was the film’s clear lead. Voila, nomination. For this year’s Golden Globes ceremony, the team behind sci-fi adventure The Martian has already tried to pass their film off as a comedy so that it might squeak into the notoriously looser Best Feature - Comedy category instead of Drama.
In a new interview with Deadline yesterday, high-powered Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein confessed that he had been engaging in a bit of this behavior for the upcoming Golden Globes ceremony, though he wouldn’t consider it fraud at all. In his quotes, he certainly sounds like he honestly considers The Hateful Eight to be a worthy entry in the Comedy race. Claiming to have director Quentin Tarantino’s full support (which makes two guys with pretty sick senses of humor on this one), Weinstein spoke about his recently squashed bid to enter the new film in the Comedy category:
The first part (of the near-three-hour film) is a setup. The second act is hilarious. It is his funniest, his most political movie, so incredibly entertaining. You are just laughing your ass off. Even the violence is reduced for Quentin Tarantino movies.
Interesting, interesting. Pete Hammond, the fellow that conducted the interview for Deadline, explains in the next paragraph that the screening he attended definitely played like a comedy, and that “you can’t take it seriously.”
Other reports have suggested a conflicting account; Vulture film critic Bilge Ebiri, fresh out of an advance screening in New York, described it as “the darkest f---ing movie Tarantino’s ever made” and compared it to the relentlessly disturbing Italian exploitation art-film Saló, or the 120 Days of Sodom. [Ed. note: It is very dark, very angry and very brutal. It has it’s humorous moments, but a comedy it is not.] So who knows who we believe? It’s not as if we common rabble can do anything about it either way. We’ll all be sitting here, patiently out waiting the three weeks separating us from this allegedly horrifying and funny piece of work.