With insiders saying that is a shoo-in for an Oscar nomination, Miramax Films has partnered on the domestic release of Agnes Jaoui's critically acclaimed Le Gout Des Autres (The Taste Of Others) with Offline Releasing. The announcement comes on the eve of the movie's release this Friday (Feb 9); the Oscar nominations are announced next Tuesday (Feb 13).

As well as being France's foreign language film Academy submission, the film is winner of nine Cesar nominations, the winners of which are announced on Feb 24.

The New York-based Offline bought Jaoui's film last year after its sensational performance at the French box office through Pathe. It opened in early March and went on to take $21m. It beat out other highly touted French pictures like With A Friend Like Harry (which also scored nine Cesar nominations), The Widow Of St Pierre and Les Destinees Sentimentales to be selected as the French Oscar contender.

Offline is the acquisitions and distribution arm of the production outfit Offline Entertainment which produced Sundance Film Festival grand jury prize winner Slam directed by Marc Levin. Formed last year to pick up domestic and foreign language films which fall through the cracks of traditional distribution channels, it also has distribution rights to Jang Sun-Woo's controversial Korean film Lies which it will release with Cowboy Booking International and Levin's documentary Twilight: Los Angeles filming Anna Deveare Smith's performance piece about the Rodney King verdict.

Offline had sealed a deal with micro-distributor Artistic License to distribute Le Gout Des Autres domestically and the two presented it at the New York Film Festival together, but the Miramax deal has eclipsed that earlier arrangement.

"This agreement is further evidence of our appreciation for fine French films and our commitment to expanding the audience for such movies around the world," said Miramax executive vice president of acquisitions and co-production Agnes Mentre.

The movie about a French industrialist who becomes smitten with his English tutor, an actress, stars Jaoui herself alongside Jean-Pierre Bacri who co-wrote the screenplay with Jaoui. Also starring are Anne Alvaro, Alain Chabat and French leading man Gerard Lanvin.