French movie 11 – The Intouchables (2011)

The Intouchables / Intouchables (O. Nakache & E Toledano, 2011)

Friday 24 June at 9:30pm, Piazza Ferrario, Ispra

In Paris, the aristocratic and intellectual Philippe is a quadriplegic millionaire who is interviewing candidates for the position of his carer, with his red-haired secretary Magalie. Out of the blue, Driss cuts the line of candidates and brings a document from the Social Security and asks Phillipe to sign it to prove that he is seeking a job position so he can receive his unemployment benefit. Philippe challenges Driss, offering him a trial period of one month to gain experience helping him. Then Driss can decide whether he would like to stay with him or not. Driss accepts the challenge and moves to the mansion, changing the boring life of Phillipe and his employees.

Why you should see that movie :

Terrific comedy-drama from France about Philippe (Francois Cluzet), a rich man who was left paralyzed from the neck down after an accident and Driss (Omar Sy), a man from the ghetto who hasn’t had much going on in his life until he gets the job of taking care of the handicapped man. THE INTOUCHABLES has been breaking box office records around the world but I decided to stay away from it because of some rather lukewarm reviews. I’m certainly glad the trailer kept telling me to go see it because no matter what the critics say, this here is a complete winner and it’s easy to see why so many people have fallen in love with it. I’m really not sure why so many critics have bashed it for being a “crowd winner” or “too happy” because neither makes much sense. I thought the film was quite remarkable because the pre-credit sequence is just so touching and funny that you can’t help but fall in love with these two characters and the journey of their friendship that follows was incredibly touching and best of all is that it felt real. Cluzet and Sy are simply so terrific in their roles that you really do feel as if you’re watching real people with real issues. The way the two play off one another is so remarkable to watch that once you’ve seen it I don’t see how you could forget them. Directors Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano do a remarkable job balancing the comedy with the drama and in the end they really create such a special atmosphere that it’s impossible not to get caught up with it. THE INTOUCHABLES is without question one of the best films of the year and hopefully the strong word of mouth from around the world will get more people to check it out.

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