Well, France has chosen its contender for this years race for Best Foreign Film at the Academy Awards; The Intouchables.
The film which has grossed $364.5 million dollars worldwide and $8.9 million stateside was chosen by a commission that included seven members including: Cannes Film Festivals Thierry Fremaux, “A Prophet” screenwriter Abdel Raouf Dafri, “The Artist” star Berenice Bejo, “The Illusionist” helmer Sylvain Chomet, Haut et Court producer Carole Scotta (“The Class“).
Much has been written about this film on Shadow and Act so if you are a regular reader you already know the details. But for those who may have missed it The Intouchables tells the story of an unlikely pairing. After a paragliding accident a rich aristocrat (Francios Cluzet) hires a young man from the projects (Omar Sy) to be his caregiver.
The film has recieved consistently negative reviews stateside. Tambay in his review of the film compared it to Bringing Down the House. You can read Tambay’s review here. Despite this, The Weinstein Company which released the film stateside, is moving full speed ahead on the remake. It seems we may be spared another ‘Magical Negro’, in an interview with Elvis Mitchell Harvey Weinstein stated the following regarding the remakes casting:
“Originally, the intention was to have a black actor do it, but you talk about immigration, and the whole Latino thing that’s happening right now, it’s opened up our eyes, and obviously there’s an explosion of thought.”
Given the controversy over its content stateside it’s and interesting choice by France for the Best Foreign Language film contender. It should be noted that the films star Omar Sy, won the Cesar the French equivalent to the Oscar for his role in the film, but had to contend with many questions about race and representation while promoting the film in the US.
The 85th Academy Awards nominations will be announced on Jan. 15, 2013 with the Oscar telecast on Feb. 24th.