I am going to say this in pure bias and blind ranting since I have seen NEITHER of these films, but I’m a little stunned that France chose ‘Intouchables’to be their Oscar horse this year and not ‘Rust + Bone’. Yes, ‘Intouchables’ is a surprise hit overseas and managed to rake up some serious awards attention last year when it beat out ‘The Artist’ in the Lead Actor category at The Cesar Awards, but ‘Rust + Bone’ just seems so much more prestigious, and the reviews for it this year have been rather impressive. I know that Harvey Weinstein is behind this, and so it should be expected (and it is rather popular to hate on him) but I really thought that ‘Rust + Bone’ had a serious chance at getting in with Oscar this year. It reminds me a little bit of when Italy opted NOT to go with ‘I Am Love’ for their Oscar submission back in 2010, but then again, the audience reception of ‘Intouchables’ has been extremely good. This is one of those generic heartwarming feel good movies, and the United States of A have already greenlit the remake with Colin Firth (originally rumored to be Dustin Hoffman) in the starring role.
And this brings me once again to the lavish Marion Cotillard. Does this hurt her Oscar chances this year? I know that she is still in a good position, but I was also banking on overall reception of the film to bolster her chances, and a Foreign Language Film nomination would have given her a boost for sure. That said, Penelope Cruz managed a nomination in 2006 despite ‘Volver’ being snubbed in the Foreign Language Film category, so it could happen. This may make Riva a bigger threat, and I may be underestimating her impact on the race (we’ll see once the critics’ awards roll in) but for now I’m keeping Cotillard in my predictions.
She has to make it, right?