You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Intouchables’ selected for Oscar race

France chooses B.O. hit for Academy contest

PARIS — French B.O. phenom “The Intouchables” has been selected to rep Gaul in the foreign-language race at the Academy Awards.

The Euros9.5 million ($12.4 million) buddy comedy, which was helmed by Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache, has grossed $364.5 million worldwide. Pic is France’s third biggest B.O. hit.

It took $8.9 million Stateside, where it was released by The Weinstein Company. TWC is developing a U.S. remake with scribe/helmer Paul Feig and thesp Colin Firth reportedly on board.

The choice of “The Intouchables” marks a shift. Although France is a prolific producer of laffers, “The Intouchables” is the first comedy blockbuster to represent France in the Oscar foreign-language race.

Based on a true story, the dramedy turns on the friendship between a wealthy aristocrat (Francois Cluzet), who became a quadriplegic after a tragic accident, and his young, troubled caregiver (Omar Sy). Sy earned a Cesar nod (France’s top award) for his perf in “The Intouchables,” beating “The Artist” thesp Jean Dujardin.

“We’re proud that ‘The Intouchables’ is representing France because this film is a wonderful embodiment of our Republican motto, ‘Liberty, Equality, Fraternity,'” CNC prexy Eric Garandeau told Variety.

“The Intouchables” was chosen by a commission comprising seven members, including Cannes fest topper Thierry Fremaux and Paul Otchakovsky-Laurens, prexy of the CNC’s funding body Advance on Receipts. As in previous years, the five other members were chosen by the culture minister, a position now occupied by Aurelie Filippetti. Unlike her predecessor, Frederic Mitterrand — who often selected the same vet thesps, such as Jeanne Moreau and pure-play helmers like Costa-Gavras — Filippetti picked an eclectic and young mix of people with different backgrounds and tastes ranging from auteur to the more mainstream. They were “A Prophet” screenwriter Abdel Raouf Dafri, “The Artist” star Berenice Bejo, “The Illusionist” helmer Sylvain Chomet, Haut et Court producer Carole Scotta (“The Class”) and makeup artist Didier Lavergne (“The Ghost Writer”).

Industry insiders said the commission needed to be refreshed. France hasn’t had a film nominated for a foreign-language Oscar nod since 2009, when Jacques Audiard’s “A Prophet” lost to Yojiro Takita’s drama “Departures.” The last foreign-language kudo nabbed by a French pic goes back 20 years to Regis Wargnier’s “Indochine.”

“The Intouchables” is produced by Nicolas Duval-Adassovsky, Laurent Zeitoun and Yann Zenou at Quad Films, and co-produced by Gaumont, which released the film in France and reps it in international markets.

Popular on Variety

More Scene

  • Chrissy TeigenBaby2Baby Gala, Arrivals, 3Labs, Los

    Chrissy Teigen Receives Giving Tree Award at 2019 Baby2Baby Gala

    Chrissy Teigen accepted the “Giving Tree” Award at the 2019 Baby2Baby Gala on Saturday with a speech chockful of her trademark humor and humility. Upon receiving a standing ovation, Teigen laughingly told the star-studded crowd to sit down, joking that she is more accustomed to receiving an accolade for “Best Titties” at the Spike TV [...]

  • Co-host Rita Moreno performs on stage

    Rita Moreno's Role in New 'West Side Story' Is More Than a Cameo: 'It’s a Real Part'

    During her live show, “An Evening with Rita Moreno,” Saturday night, Rita Moreno told the audience she will have a “real” role in next December’s “West Side Story” remake, which recently wrapped shooting, and that she initially had concerns about the film’s production. “At first, it was interesting when I heard there were rumors that [...]

  • Charlize Theron American Cinematheque

    Seth Rogen, Seth MacFarlane Roast Charlize Theron During Bawdy American Cinematheque Ceremony

    As Charlize Theron accepted the 33rd American Cinematheque honor at the Beverly Hilton on Friday night, the atmosphere more resembled a roast than a reverential evening celebrating the cinematic achievements of an Oscar winner. Presenters like Seth Rogen, Kristen Stewart and Seth MacFarlane shared bawdy jokes and reveals about what it’s really like working with [...]

  • Katie Couric

    Katie Couric Says Matt Lauer 'Ultimately Turned Out to Be Two Very Different People'

    Katie Couric discussed Matt Lauer, the Me Too movement and female leadership in business at the Dress for Success annual Women Who Inspire breakfast in New York City on Wednesday. Couric, who spoke during a fireside chat at the nonprofit’s female empowerment event, was asked about Lauer’s ouster from the “Today” show, and the many [...]

  • Tina Turner Musical

    Oprah Winfrey Joins Tina Turner for the Opening Night of 'Tina' Musical on Broadway

    On Thursday night in New York City, Tina Turner joined the ranks of Cher, Donna Summer, the Temptations and the Jersey Boys — Carole King, too — baptized, as it were, in the disco inferno of a high-powered Broadway jukebox. “Tina: The Tina Turner Musical” joins a steady stream of bio-musicals bent on squeezing, often [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content