France Chooses Smash Hit 'Intouchables' As Official Oscar Entry

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by Kevin Jagernauth
September 18, 2012 10:25 AM
2 Comments
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It's a good year to be Harvey Weinstein. With the awards season in full swing, the master producer and distributor has more than one major horse in the race. He's got Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master," which opened to record-breaking numbers in limited release this weekend, along with this year's TIFF Audience Award winner, David O. Russell's "Silver Linings Playbook." One can't count out Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained" just yet either. And now another movie sporting his fingerprint is going for Oscar gold.

France has selected the smash hit "Intouchables" as their Oscar entry this year. The movie, directed by Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache, has all the hallmarks of pure Oscar bait, the kind that older voters especially tend to eat up with a spoon and then ask for seconds. The story centers on a wealthy, disabled man who finds a new assistant in the most unlikely of places --an immigrant from well below his social and class station. Pretty soon there is all kinds of interracial harmony and lessons being learned, with laughs and tears aplenty. And while we didn't care for it, audiences loved it to the tune of $364.9 million worldwide, with stateside audiences pitching in $8.9 million earlier this year thanks to The Weinstein Company who distributed and promoted the pic. Moreover, it was nominated for 9 Cesar awards, and while it lost most of the major categories to "The Artist," Omar Sy managed to snatch Best Actor from Jean Dujardin.

Moreover, the movie is gearing up for an American remake with Paul Feig at the helm and Colin Firth starring, with shooting to begin this fall. At this point, it could be the picture to beat in the Foreign Film category, and you can bet Harvey will be making sure everyone who can vote will see this. Is it gonna be an all-Harvey Oscars in February? Still a long ways to go, but right now he's dominating the show. [Variety]

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2 Comments

  • Archer Slyce | September 18, 2012 10:54 AMReply

    That's basically realpolitik right here. People will say that Rust and bones is better and all, but looking back Les Intouchable is a safer choice and in the end an obvious one. As Kevin said it has a huge academy potential: "based on real events", positive message etc... most of all academy members probably think that it's somehow meaningful, a portrayal of french society or whatever. That said, yeah, it will probably be a much harder sell than The Artist.

  • Ew | September 18, 2012 10:34 AMReply

    I guess they chose it over Rust & Bone? I haven't seen that film but I'm willing to bet it's a million times better than that awful cliched dreck known as the Intouchables.

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