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Olivier Nackache, Eric Toledano - 'The Intouchables'
Pro: All the talk is currently about “The Master,” “Silver Linings Playbook” and “Django Unchained,” but Nakache and Toledano's feelgood French hit could yet be the secret weapon in The Weinstein Company's Oscar arsenal. The highest-grossing foreign-language film of the year, France's official Oscar submission already has a number of fans within the Academy – the Weinsteins, canny as ever, got the screeners out early – and is the kind of crowd-pleaser that builds through word of mouth.
Con: Olivier and Eric who? As with “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” this unspectacular character comedy may be effective entertainment, but it's hardly an impressive feat of directorial craft, and is even less likely to be recognized as such given the low profile of its helmers. It's hard enough to get Oscar attention as a foreign-language filmmaker without competition from names like Michael Haneke and Jacques Audiard.
- Guy Lodge