TIFF 2017: Harvey Weinstein Predicts Bryan Cranston, Kevin Hart’s ‘The Upside’ Is an Oscar Contender

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Harvey Weinstein is incredibly confident in his latest film. “The Upside,” the Neil Burger-directed English-language remake of “The Intouchables,” premiered at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) on Friday night to a rousing reception. During the applause, Weinstein told Deadline reporter Pete Hammond he is “absolutely 100% [sure] we will qualify this film for the Academy Awards this year.”

“The Upside” stars Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”) as a wealthy, paralyzed man who hires the street-smart Kevin Hart (“Ride Along”), to the chagrin of Cranston’s top exec, played by Nicole Kidman (“The Beguiled”). The film is based on a real story, was first adapted in France “The Intouchables” by The Weinstein Company and was the highest grossing non-English language film ever made, according to Vanity Fair.

According to Deadline, the relationship between Cranston and Hart makes the film soar, with Hart delivering his best film performance to date. Weinstein is reportedly making plans to campaign the comedian and actor for Best Supporting Actor this awards season. Cranston also liked the comedian in real life, telling Hammond he “loved working with Hart,” who “stuck almost exclusively to the script.” Only three lines in the final cut were ad-libbed, all surprisingly from Cranston, yet the pair’s relationship zigs like a real-life friendship.

“The Upside” was set for public release next March, a week after the Oscars. However, Weinstein wants to move the premiere date up so it can compete this awards season. He will reportedly had a preliminary, qualifying release of “The Upside,” which will then premiere more widely in February. This is a tall order, as Hart has an iron-clad clause in his “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” contract dictating a tight window preventing Hart’s other films from showing during that time. We’ll see if Weinstein can work his magic before the December deadline.

Check out the newest Oscar Predictions and see where “THE UPSIDE” ranks!

Check out the newest Oscar Predictions!

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MOTION PICTURE | DIRECTOR |
LEAD ACTOR | LEAD ACTRESS | SUPPORTING ACTOR | SUPPORTING ACTRESS | 
ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY | ADAPTED SCREENPLAY | ANIMATED FEATURE |
PRODUCTION DESIGN | CINEMATOGRAPHY | COSTUME DESIGN | FILM EDITING | MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING | SOUND MIXING | SOUND EDITING | VISUAL EFFECTS |
ORIGINAL SCORE | ORIGINAL SONG |