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Francophile Weinstein Co. Says Oui to 'Populaire,' Remakes French Hit with 'Bridesmaid''s Feig

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood March 29, 2012 at 4:29PM

The Weinstein Co. mopped the floor with many an Oscar contender that was up against "The Artist," so why not take US rights to the next big thing from France's The Wild Bunch and do it again?
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"The Artist" & "Populaire"
"The Artist" & "Populaire"

The Weinstein Co. mopped the floor with many an Oscar contender that was up against "The Artist," so why not take U.S. rights to the next big thing from France's The Wild Bunch and do it again? And so TWC has scooped up Regis Roinsard's "Populaire," another romantic comedy set in yesteryear (the 1950s), shot by "The Artist" cinematographer Guillaume Schiffman and starring "The Artist"'s Berenice Bejo. She joins Romain Duris ("Heartbreaker") and Deborah Francois ("The Monk"). "Populaire" will open in France on October 24.

Meanwhile, TWC is remaking French hit "The Untouchables," whose star Omar Sy beat Jean Dujardin for the Cesar; the original opens stateside on May 25. Even though there's no script yet, they've offered the reins to "Bridesmaids" director Paul Feig, according to Variety; TWC regular Colin Firth ("A Single Man," "The King's Speech") is considering the lead role:

Based on a true story, the dramedy follows a wealthy aristocrat who suffers a tragic accident that leaves him a quadriplegic. He goes through several caretakers before bonding with a young, troubled caregiver, and the seemingly mismatched duo end up learning a lot from each other.

TWC's David Glasser says: ''The look and feel of 'Populaire' is very reminiscent of old classic comedies." Of course it is. Will audiences and the Academy continue to crave nostalgia? It may seem passe once Oscar season 2012 rolls around. But the title doesn't hurt.

Check out the official "Populaire" synopsis via ThePlaylist and Wild Bunch.

Spring, 1958. 21-year-old Rose Pamphyle lives with her grouchy widower father who runs the village store. Engaged to the son of the local mechanic, she seems destined for the quiet, drudgery-filled life of a housewife. But that's not the life Rose longs for. When she travels to Lisieux in Normandy, where charismatic insurance agency boss Louis Echard is advertising for a secretary, the ensuing interview is a disaster. But Rose reveals a special gift – she can type at extraordinary speed.

Unwittingly, the young woman awakens the dormant sports fan in Louis. If she wants the job she'll have to compete in a speed typing competition. Whatever sacrifices Rose must make to reach the top, Louis declares himself her trainer. He'll turn her into the fastest girl not only in the country, but in the world!

This article is related to: IN THE WORKS, The Weinstein Co., Weinsteins


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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.