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France Picks ‘Renoir’ For Oscar’s Foreign-Language Race

"Renoir" Was Released Stateside By Samuel Goldwyn Films

Gilles Bourdos’ “Renoir” is set to represent Gaul in the Oscar’s Foreign-language race.

Pic, which competed in Cannes’ Un Certain Regard in 2012, was released Stateside by Samuel Goldwyn Films in March. The period drama is one of this year’s highest-grossing French films at the U.S. box office so far,  taking an estimated $2.2 million.

Repped by Wild Bunch and produced by Olivier Delbosc and Marc Missonnier at Fidelite Films, “Renoir” also proved an international sales success.

Bourdos, Jerome Tonnerre and Michel Spinosa co-wrote the script based on Jacques Renoir’s “Le Tableau amoureux.”

Set in The French Riviera in 1915, during WWI, the film depicts the life of  French impressionist master Auguste Renoir and the early years of his son, Jean, who became a cult French filmmaker.

Scored by Alexandre Desplat, “Renoir” earned warm Cannes reviews highlighting the strong performances of its stars (Michel Bouquet, and newcomers Christa Theret and Vincent Rottiers), and lavish cinematography.

Pic succeeds to comedy blockbuster “The Intouchables” as the French delegate in the foreign-language category and is perceived as a more conventional candidate. Last year, “The Intouchables” competed at the Golden Globes but failed to draw an Oscar nomination.

France’s selection committee includes Cannes film fest topper Thierry Fremaux, CNC (National Film Board) exec Paul Otchakovsky – Laurens, thesp Isabelle Adjani, scribe Sylvette Baudrot, helmer Laurent Cantet (“The Class”), producer Estelle Fialon and Alain Terzian, prexy of the French Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Oscar nominations will be unveiled on Jan. 16.

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