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, the rude African 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. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Although the real-life 'Driss' was a young Algerian man called Abdel, directors Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache changed the character's nationality to West-African, as they had enjoyed working with Omar Sy on Tellement proches (2009), and really wanted him to play the part. Sy also had the experience of living in the impoverished French suburbs, just like Driss. See more »
During Philippe's birthday party, when Driss is asking Yvonne about Magalie, Yvonne keeps finishing her pastry in one shot and then has it again in the next shot; this happens 3 times. See more »
5% of the profits from the film will be donated to the Association Simon of Cyrene - 15 rue de Suffren - 75015 Paris whose purpose is to create shared living spaces for disabled adults and friends. See more »
A Film of True Humanity : Comedy in the Face of Hardship
It has been 9 weeks now since Intoucblaes has come to the movie theaters. I did not give it much thought at first, but the universal acclaim I have heard convinced me to go see it. I don't over-stating the universality of the acclaim, people of various races, classes, colors & countries told me it was a must see. I had no expectations, and I was floored.
Intouchables, directed by Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache, starring Francois Cluzet and Omar Sy is possibly the best French movie of the year. This is not because of a lack of worthy contenders, but truly because Intouchables is that profound. It touches on themes of presumptions, social class difference, health, and as naïve as it may sound, the universality of humanity.
The story is not as important as is the relationship that is displayed between the two protagonists. Philippe (played by Cluzet) a rich aristocrat that loves adrenaline rushes finds himself a paraplegic after a paragliding incident. Driss (played by Sy) is, in appearance a typical hoodlum from the ghetto. The two are brought together and wonders happen.
The audience then sees how the men affect one another as they engage in a truly honest relationship. Driss is charismatic, lighthearted and funny, helping make Philippe's life enjoyable again. In the process the traditionally cold French aristocracy around Philippe warms up and lightens. He is like a hot knife through cold butter.
Again, it is not so much the story that is important as is the social commentary. The commentary is not judgmental and is very subtle, revealed only in the contrasts the director chose in the story and its contexts. His method reminded me of a sort of Zen approach to comedy. One example you can catch from the trailer alone is the contrast between the able bodied black Driss and t the crippled white man, etc.
The audience is also given wonderful sights of Paris and France as we go through the Pyrenees, Cabourg and the various streets of Paris.
On paper the review does not make the movie justice. It is hilarious in a way that is true, honest and by which anyone can relate to. Most importantly it is revealing and comforting in its reminder of the essential in life : love. It's approach is simple, pure and honest and that makes it worthy of the title of "best movie of the year".
I cannot say more; the film must be experienced. My friends tried, they failed, so I trusted them and I saw it. It floored me. Go and be floored.
PS - I heard American studios have purchased the rights for the film. They will need a brilliant director, screenwriters and perfect actors to make the original justice in the way "The Departed" did for "Infernal Affairs".
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