According to thegrio.com, there has been quite a buzz in Hollywood about who filled the role played by black actor Omar Sy, who went on to win the French equivalent of the best actor Oscar.
While the French film was an international success and broke numerous box office records, there are many film critics who have criticized the film for being racially insensitive.
Variety writer Jay Weissberg had this to say about the film:
“Driss [the main character] is treated as nothing but a performing monkey (with all the racist associations of such a term), teaching the stuck-up white folk how to get “down” by replacing Vivaldi with “Boogie Wonderland” and showing off his moves on the dance floor. It’s painful to see Sy, a joyfully charismatic performer, in a role barely removed from the jolly house slave of yore, entertaining the master while embodying all the usual stereotypes about class and race.”
Rock, Foxx and Elba make an intriguing trio in competition for the role because each brings such a different set of skills to the table. Rock is the consummate funny man on stage, but he stumbled in lead acting roles earlier in his career, though he seems to have gotten better over the years in roles like I Think I Love My Wife opposite the alluring Kerry Washington.
While he also started out as a funny man, Foxx has developed into one of the most talented, versatile and bankable stars on the planet, scooping up a diverse range of leading man roles—not to mention an Academy Award for Ray. His eagerly anticipated performance in Quentin Tarantino’s Django, as a former slave turned bounty hunter (also opposite the alluring Kerry Washington), has had his name on the lips of seemingly the entire black community in recent weeks.
With his brooding, explosive sexiness, Idris Elba would certainly be the ladies choice in any competition. While he still isn’t as well known to American audiences as the other two, Elba has been receiving a slew of praise and awards for his performance as the troubled detective in the BBC series Luther.