Clooney & Pitt wish this would derail Dujardin
So Jean Dujardin, the stone cold French fox who scored a surprise Best Actor upset at the SAGs for The Artist, has a new movie coming out in France. It’s called Les Infideles and it’s about a bunch of guys cheating. The ad campaign features images of the men, including Dujardin, in suggestive positions with women and racy taglines. The poster is attached. The campaign is being pulled in France because of their rather strict laws regarding advertising and public decency (Underworld 4 got banned, too, because Kate Beckinsale was pictured holding two guns). A French newspaper has gone so far as to suggest that Dujardin’s poster is so offensive that it will derail his Oscar chances. Apparently he’s “trampled the politically correct America”.
No one gives a sh*t.
Frankly, I, and everyone I talked to, was more surprised that the French found this offensive more than I myself was actually offended. Because, um, I’m not offended at all. Les Infideles poster is on par with the American Pie poster, or David Fincher’s Girl with the Dragon Tattoo “topless Lisbeth” poster, or the series of stripperific posters from Sin City. The real concern for Dujardin isn’t that Academy voters would be so offended by a movie poster they wouldn’t vote for him, but that this whole “scandal” will remind voters that Dujardin is best known as a comic actor and they’ll suddenly remember there’s a stick up their asses that prevents them from voting for a comedian. Not that this is enough to end his Oscar run. It’s not. It’d be a bigger problem if the movie isn’t good and he gets Norbit-ed.
And this is all assuming that the Oscar is Dujardin’s. (Lainey: yes, Dujardin is campaigning too, although I’m sure you’d rather believe he’s just the accidental celebrity standing around while the Hollywood players beg around town. Come on now. The Artist is a Harvey Weinstein production, remember?) He’s working it hard in LA, Uggie the Dog in tow—I find it problematic that his Oscar campaign relies on reminding me that a DOG stole scenes from him—but the odds are still in Clooney’s favor by a small margin (albeit, much smaller than it was before Dujardin won the SAG). Clooney’s working that advantage to the max. He’s invited CBS cameras into his home for an episode of Person to Person, the show Edward R. Murrow used to host about celebrity homes. Clooney shows off some movie memorabilia (Rat Pack, of course), the kitchen he openly admits to not using (he’s such a hapless bachelor haha!), and his adopted cocker spaniel (he’s a sucker for those sad-ass ASPCA ads, just like us). This is Clooney at his charming, ingratiating best. He’s trying to make the Academy fall in love with him. Or, fall more in love than they already are.
Then there’s Brad Pitt, working the television circuit in support of Moneyball, giving interviews that are more open and candid than he’s been in the last few years, talking up marriage and his insanely attractive family. He’s dangling the Minivan dream of making it official with Angelina (because six kids isn’t official?!), hoping to lure voters with normalness and accessibility. He wants it, everyone knows he wants it, but he’s keeping the desire in check, leading with the funny and “family first” and hoping the votes follow.
And through all this Gary Oldman is quietly campaigning with a series of career retrospectives, including Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and making appearances at them. He’s had these events in LA, San Francisco, and next week, in New York. He was at the Palm Springs Film Festival working the outpost voters while the BAFTA bloc—the British members of the Academy—pull for him, too. Oldman’s campaign is much less public than Clooney’s or Pitt’s but it’s very specifically focused. He’s hitting up the Academy towns, visiting voters at home, essentially, and playing on the idea that he’s long overdue for such recognition. I still think this might actually work and he pulls off a huge upset on Oscar Sunday.
The Best Actor race is a three-way heat with Oldman pressing. It’s competitive. It’s not a done deal. Every inch counts. These guys only wish they could unseat Dujardin with something as simple as a racy movie poster.