I read a number articles this morning (starting with the NY Daily News) that suggested The Weinstein Company (TWC) is planning a Stateside awards season push for Omar Sy for his performance in The Intouchables, which surprised me.
Sy already won the French equivalent of the Oscar earlier this year (the César Award) for that same performance, and the film was released in the USA about 2 weeks ago, grossing just over $1.6 million thus far, in limited release – a relatively strong showing, I'd say.
But I really didn't expect TWC was even thinking of the film, or its star, as potential Oscar contenders, or to be considered for any awards at all. I figured the Stateside release of the original French film was really to prep USA audiences for the eventual remake that's already in motion, with Bridesmaids director Paul Feig at the helm. And THAT remake would get the awards season push next year, 2013.
So essentially, the release of the French film serving as an ad campaign for the upcoming Hollywood remake.
Not quite the case apparently, as some are saying.
I've seen the film, and reviewed it here on S&A; in short, I didn't care for it, and not even for the reasons you'd expect, if popular negative reviews of the film are an indicator. And while Omar Sy's performance in the film may have been seen as groundbreaking in its native France (where Sy became the first black actor to win the Best Actor César Award in that country's history), it's not a performance that I'd say would be considered for award recognition here in the USA; as I said in my review, it's as if the French are playing catch up, given that a film like this made here in the USA, which feels all-too similar to several others that came before it, wouldn't be as well-received by Stateside audiences.
Granted, there's a remake coming, but I doubt that the Hollywood remake will be an exact replica of the French original (or maybe it's more that I HOPE it's not); as the Variety review of the film said, when it opened in France last year, the "cringeworthy" script would have to undergo "massive rewrites" for it to work with USA audiences.
We'll see on both counts – whether Omar Sy will indeed get an awards season push, and how differently the remake will be from the original.
But it seems like it's one of those polarizing movies; those I've spoken to who've seen it either really love it, or strongly despise it; and maybe that's as much of an awards season sure-thing as you can get.
Word is that the President and the First Lady have requested a print of the French film for a screening at the White House. Interesting, certainly…