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The French Choose Weinstein's 'The Intouchables' for Foreign Oscar Race

Thompson on Hollywood By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood September 18, 2012 at 1:09PM

In a change of direction, a markedly younger seven-member film commission including Cannes director Thierry Fremaux has chosen heart-tugging crowdpleaser "The Intouchables" as their official Oscar submission, their first comedy.
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"The Intouchables"
"The Intouchables"

In a change of direction, a markedly younger seven-member film commission including Cannes director Thierry Fremaux has chosen heart-tugging crowdpleaser "The Intouchables" as their official Oscar submission, their first comedy. 

This is great news for the Weinstein Co., which took France's "The Artist" all the way to best picture earlier this year. TWC opened "The Untouchables" stateside in May and deliberately released it over the summer to a strong $8.9 million domestic gross. They had reason to invest; the company plans a remake with Colin Firth reportedly attached and Paul Feig at the helm

But it didn't hurt to prove to the French that the movie played well here. The loser in the Oscar submission derby is respected French auteur Jacques Audiard's hardboiled Cannes drama "Rust & Bone," which Sony Pictures Classics will still support for a Marion Cotillard best actress nomination. France's last Oscar nominated film, Audiard's "A Prophet," lost to Japan's "Departures" in 2009.

"The Intouchables" has grossed $364.5 million worldwide, and ranks as France's third biggest hit ever. The French haven't won a foreign film Oscar since Regis Wargnier's "Indochine" in 1993. The Tomatometer puts "The Intouchables" at 74% Fresh. Here's more on the growing list of Foreign Oscar contenders. The official Oscar submission deadline looms: October 1.

Directed by Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache, the movie stars Francois Cluzet as a wealthy paraplegic and Omar Sy as his rowdy caretaker. Sy beat "The Artist" Oscar-winner Jean Dujardin for the best actor Cesar. 

Check out the trailer below:

This article is related to: Awards, The Intouchables, The Weinstein Co., News


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.