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Farewell Miramax

I guess it's not too surprising, but word is out that Disney shuttered Miramax, the once-mighty indie studio they acquired in 1993. It's hard to believe that a studio that once regularly churned out arthouse hits and earned Oscars for Gwyneth Paltrow ("Shakespeare in Love"), Renee Zellweger ("Cold Mountain") and Catherine Zeta-Jones ("Chicago") is gone. In 2005, Miramax founders Bob and Harvey Weinstein left the company--a difficult move for many reasons but the most sentimental one being that it was named after their parents, Miriam and Max. They went on to form The Weinstein Company and since then, neither Miramax nor the Weinsteins have truly flourished.

The Weinsteins were known as brilliant marketers, often earning catty remarks from other studios for their history of "buying" Oscars; most infamously when their campaign for "Shakespeare in Love" earned that film the Best Picture Oscar over "Saving Private Ryan." (In my opinion, "Shakespeare" is the far superior movie, anyway.) But when the brothers split from Miramax, I figured they would take their brilliant publicity team with them. I'm not sure what happened, but neither studio really excelled at marketing again. Has "Transamerica" been released when the Weinsteins were still at Miramax, I think Felicity Huffman would have an Oscar. And Miramax couldn't make hits out of family-friendly films like "Everybody's Fine" or "The Boys are Back," nor did they really seem to try.

In the end, it's a sad day for independent film to see Miramax, the place that gave the likes of Quentin Tarantino, Steven Soderberg, and Kevin Smith--who eulogized the studio at The Wrap--their starts, shut down. But I'll always be thankful for the memories.

--Jenelle Riley

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