The French hurricane is raging on. “The Intouchables” France’s biggest B.O. success in fifty years was short-listed to represent this country at this year’s Oscars; the final decision will be rendered in January. Filmmakers Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache sounded optimistic about their chances, tweeting “‘The Intouchables’ on its way to the Oscars” a few moments after France’s official film agency announced the news that their film had been pre-selected.
Released here earlier in summer the film has been enjoying healthy returns at the box office, topping $ 10M. This month, “The Intouchables” became the most seen French film in the world. A remake is expected in 2013.
And yet “The Intouchables” isn’t without controversy here. This past September Jay Weissberg of Variety inexplicably demolished it, commenting that, “though never known for their subtlety, French co-helmers/scripters Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache have never delivered a film as offensive as ‘The Intouchables,’ which flings about the kind of Uncle Tom racism one hopes has permanently exited American screens.” Had Weissberg called in sick that day due to delusions we would’ve been spared the self-serving, vacuous provocation he peddled as film criticism.
Should “The Intouchables” not make the grade Michael Haneke’s “Amour” is considered another plausible contender for the Oscars’s foreign film section.