If Harvey Weinstein can turn a silent, black-and-white movie featuring French actors into an Oscar winner, then who's to say he can't turn the trick again? With the feeling of nostalgia still in the air thanks to "The Artist," "Hugo" and "Midnight In Paris," The Weinstein Company are hoping to match that success once again.
In an almost identical blueprint to what the studio did last spring when they picked up the rights to "The Artist," based on a read through the script and watching 20 minutes of footage, The Weinstein Company have snapped up the rights to "Populaire." What makes this such an intriguing prospect for them? As you can see from the image above, the highly stylized movie is said to have been made in the vein of classic comedies, with story taking place in the 1950s and centering on a small town woman whose typing abilities bring her to New York City to compete in a contest. French film, American setting and nodding to old school movies…sound familiar?
The cast is headed up by Romain Duris ("Heartbreakers"), Deborah Francois and (surprise, surprise) Berenice Bejo. Another "The Artist" connection? Cinematographer Guillaume Schiffman is also lensing the movie. Regis Roinsard is directing.
The film is currently in post-production and already has an October 24th release date in France. If it's finished in time, could Harv repeat here and unveil this at Cannes prior to an awards season rollout? Guess we'll soon see. For now, here's the official synopsis. [Variety/The 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!
But a love of sport doesn't always mix well with love itself..