Veteran Film Fest organizer Al Milgrom at St. Anthony Main for the opening night of MSPIFF. / Photo by Claude Peck

The Minneapolis.-St. Paul International Film Festival sold out two theaters Thursday night at St. Anthony Main for its opening-night movie, the French hit "The Intouchables."

The comedy stars Francois Cluzet as an uber-wealthy paraplegic and Omar Sy as his fresh-out-of-prison caretaker. While the jokes and situations could be seen coming a kilometer away, the two main actors are enormously appealing, which is perhaps why the movie has become the second-biggest box-office success of all time in France. It has the slickness and story arc of a well-made Hollywood picture. And word is that is will be remade in an Engliah-language version by U.S. distributor the Weinstein Company. With a new title, let's hope. The movie is set for a May 25 release in the United States. 

A tent party before the screening drew film-fest fans and a few visiting filmmakers. Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak was on hand, and hinted at his desire to help develop a permanent home in Minneapolis for art-house and festival movies. Short pre-movie speeches also came from State Sen. Richard Cohen, longtime festival organizer Al Milgrom and current festival director Susan Smoluchowski. 

Ongoing MSPIFF coverage is here


MSPIFF Executive Director Susan Smoluchowski and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak at the opening pre-party. / Claude Peck 

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