Mathilda, a 12-year-old girl, is reluctantly taken in by Léon, a professional assassin, after her family is murdered. Léon and Mathilda form an unusual relationship, as she becomes his protégée and learns the assassin's trade.
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 »
The size of Philippe's tracheotomy scar changes noticeably from one occasion to the next. 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 »
It's not because I'm French that I appreciated this movie which I've seen twice. Too give the really infamous appreciation of the reader from Toronto to the French public, qualifying us of a segregationist country is difficult to gulp especially coming from north America which has not a very glorious past on the matter even in recent years. Perhaps the commentator should see the movie "The help" to refresh his memory... But what I'd like to say here apart of praising the fabulous interpretation of both leading actors is to remind that this is a true story, it did not come out from the directors and scriptwriter heads.
Philippe Pozzo Di Borgo born in 51, got a dramatic para-glider accident in the French Alps in 1993 being totally deprived of movements from the base of his neck to the tip of his feet. 3 Years later his wife died and he was helped out of his depression by Abdel Sellou his life-aid assistant. He published his terrible story in 2001 under the title "the second breath" (in French "Le second soufflé"). The directors have had the compliments of Di Borgo for the way they adapted his story. If in any way this was biased he would never had accepted the film to be left in that state. The Di Borgo family is a very old and wealthy family whose origins goes far back in the history of France, and their residence in Paris is considered to be one the jewels of the capital at the same level as The Hotel de Sully in Paris. What is shown in the film is exactly what happens everywhere in the world as far as handicapped are concerned: tendency to overwhelm them with pity which is more diminishing them as if their fate is not enough for them to swallow every minute or second each day. The way the racial problem is viewed is properly demonstrated. The police behaves in different ways depending of the color of your skin or your country's origin and sorry to say North America is a very good example of this so perhaps is not a proper judge on this matter.The authors had the courage to state this straightforwardly. The film shows on the contrary how a man with a very limited education at the beginning, a former convict, is capable progressively to change his views, and find in himself at the same time the good Samaritan aspects and help with humor and punch, his handicapped boss to find a new belief in his shattered life at 42! At the same time the boss demonstrates an open-mindedness which was not obvious to get not only because of his handicap but because of his origins and his wealth at first. Let's not illusion ourselves on the matter, everywhere in the world few wealthy people would accept to have as an aid an ex convict whichever color his skin should be! It's a fantastic lesson of tolerance, and friendship. For just those reason this movie would deserve an Oscar or Golden Globe awards.
09/07/2013 : I've just seen that under "Crazy credits" is mentioned that 5% of the revenues of the film will go to an institutions caring for disabled persons. I just don't see what's crazy about that! I find this kind of remark particularly shocking and insulting both for the producers and the actors especially in this case where the story told is a true one.I suggest the administrator to delete that remark or change its qualification.
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