BAD publicity over movie posters deemed to be in poor taste could harm actor Jean Dujardin’s Oscar hopes, French pundits say.
Two posters for Les Infidèles - a forthcoming comedy about adultery, have come under fire by ARPP, the French advertising standards authority.
It has advised JC Decaux, the firm responsible for displaying the posters, to remove them, and they were being taken down today.
ARPP head, Stéphane Martin, said: “We think this campaign is contrary to the rules on the human image, even though they do have a link with the subject of the film”.
One is a close-up of Dujardin holding a pair of female legs by the ankles and saying “I’m going into a meeting”; the other shows co-star Gilles Lelouche with a woman’s head at the level of his crotch, saying into a phone “It’s going to cut off, I’m going into a tunnel”.
The controversy has been taken up by such American-based sites as Huffington Post and the Hollywood Reporter, though so far they have simply reported on the fact it has caused upset in France. Hollywood Reporter noted it was not the first time the French had censored film posters – another notable example being one for Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life that was taken down because it showed the singer smoking a cigarette.
The process for the selection of this year’s Oscar winners has entered its last phase – the Oscar academy members now have until February 21 to make up their minds. French silent film The Artist, starring Dujardin is nominated for 10.
Le Figaro opined that “by playing on the possible puritanism of the 1,311 actors with the power to elect the best actor of the year, the promoters of George Clooney , Brad Pitt or Gary Oldman could contribute towards putting the little Frenchy out of the game.”
Le Parisien said the scandal “strongly risks displeasing the Oscar academy voters – America doesn’t joke at all with this kind of salacious poster. Over there, posters as well as sex scenes are subject to a kind of censure that obliges studios to take enormous precautions”.
However Le Figaro said Dujardin’s “entourage” are unruffled. A close associate was quoted as saying “Jean’s not even heard of this little insular French controversy, which can’t do him any harm”.
Photo: Mars Distribution