January 04, 2013 5:35am PT by Scott Feinberg
A Few Minutes With Feinberg: The French Connection to the Oscar Race (Video)
Thanks for checking out the 14th episode of A Few Minutes With Feinberg, The Hollywood Reporter’s weekly video series in which I spend -- you guessed it -- a few minutes dissecting the race to the Academy Awards. This week's installment was shot in the offices of The Hollywood Reporter, where I was joined by Didier Allouch, the Hollywood correspondent for the French premium pay television channel Canal+, for a wide-ranging conversation about the considerable role of French films and actors in this year's Oscar races.
As you can see for yourself by checking out the video at the top of this post, we discussed, among other things: the story behind the French Oscar committee's decision to submit Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano's The Intouchables over Jacques Audiard's Rust and Bone for consideration in the best foreign language film Oscar category; the classification of Amour (which was shot in France, is set in France, features French stars and is in the French language) as an Austrian film; Sister, the Swiss submission for best foreign language film Oscar -- which is also a French-financed, French-language film and stars Frenchwoman Lea Seydoux (Midnight in Paris); parallels between The Intouchables and another French-language film, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007); the unusually high number of French actors and actresses among this year's top Oscar contenders (including Omar Sy of The Intouchables and Jean Louis Trintignant of Amour for best actor and Marion Cotillard of Rust and Bone and Emmanuelle Riva of Amour for best actress); why French actresses often find meatier roles than American actresses; the role of the Cannes Film Festival in the awards season; the French people's immense affection for Quentin Tarantino; and the similar sorts of allegations that have plagued both Tarantino's Django Unchained and The Intouchables.
Fun fact: four of the nine films that have been short-listed for the best foreign language film Oscar -- France's The Intouchables, plus Austria's Amour, Switzerland's Sister, and Canada's War Witch -- are French-language films.