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Do not look at this through the prism of "Foreign Films". You'd be
wasting your time and miss something far too important.
Hollywood does scale like nobody else, leaving the competition gasping in its wake. France does intimacy, and brutality. Nothing is sacred. And rather than try to revive the New Wave or emulate Hollywood like most widely seen French films of late, "Intouchables" harnesses its core strengths - ease with intimacy, willingness to ridicule anything and brutal honesty - and delivers one of the funniest, most honest and touching films I have ever seen.
Sy is a failed robber, going through the motions and playing the stereotypical jobless émigré. Cluzet is a romantic and melancholy mind trapped in a useless body. The circumstances that bring them together are too funny to spoil here, but meet they do, and an awkward relationship quickly blossoms as they bring out the best in each other.
The film's simplicity is delightfully misleading: the script is a masterpiece of comedy writing, and however good the rest of the cast is, the central duo is magical. Sy's comic timing will have you in stitches, but it is his honesty and vulnerability that make you fall in love with the character. Cluzet isn't your typical sad-sack, instead, much of the finest pleasures in the film consist in watching him use his keen mind to mess with the world around him (a subplot about an abstract painting really takes the biscuit, you'll know it when you see it).
This is one of the most unique, beautiful and honest friendships ever committed to film. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry... a delightful celebration of everything in life that makes it worthwhile.
I am now trying to find words to describe this movie for an hour. I
You've seen it, or you haven't. It's monumental and outrageously good.
The cast is brilliant. The jokes lovely. The story and the idea behind the movie is beautiful. Especially when you've worked/lived with handicapped people. The music is such a perfect choice, it is unbelievable.
I hope this movie makes a plenty of people think about how good their life is and how bad it could have been.
Bottom line: Oscar-worthy. Period.
Being french and a film maker myself, I have high standards for ratings, and this one definitely deserves in 10/10. I've not seen a film showing our world with such humour in a long time. The jokes are absurd and possibly, with a touch of British humour to them. The directing is beautiful, the acting is incredible, the shots are somehow truthful, if I can say that about a shot. It may be Omar Sy's first time in a leading role, for a major production, but he really delivered, and not just in the funny parts, the delivery of emotions was just spotless. Francois Cluzet was also just as brilliant, as he usually is. I will be recommending this film to everyone, and seriously hoping it will be released in the UK soon enough for me to see it again! Only negative aspect... the Americans are thinking of doing a remake... why do they always have to? I mean would you reconsider remaking the "Joconde" or the Sixtine Chapel to American standards? Film is an art like any other, it travels the world as it is... no need for remakes...
This movie surprised us. We checked on IMDb and saw 8/10 for a french
movie, without hesitation we went to the movie theatre to watch the
The subject is hard but the movie is really funny. In a few seconds you are fully projected within the film from the beginning to the end. There is no special effet but the actors are playing very well and the movie is based on a real story.
If you are skeptical for French movie don't be for this one ... it is a must see movie.
Enjoy the movie.
In less than two months, "Untouchable" became the second most
successful French film by number of spectators, such an event by itself
that people went then to see it, not because they thought it was good
but to see what was so good in it: that's the virtual circle of
My biggest disappointment in 2011 was with "The Tree of Life", a movie I sincerely wanted to love but couldn't, and I left the theater before it ended with a bitter taste of frustration. Proportionally, my greatest positive surprise came with "Untouchable" because it was the opposite expectation: I was sure I would dislike it, figuring the movie manipulated viewers through the overused device of the improbable friendship. Why such preconceived negativity? Well, when a young black guy from French suburbs, darkly depicted in Mathieu Kassovitz 'Hate' and infamous for its occasional riots, befriends a rich quadriplegic, I immediately think of 'good feelings', 'mainstream populism' unaware that I apply to myself a cynical judgment that can undermine my very way to enjoy not just this film, but any film. After all, why getting ready for hatred when it's so relieving to give the benefit of the doubt and get ready for appreciation? Especially since more than 15 millions of French people, from different ages and backgrounds liked it.
So, I saw it and loved it.
The story of "Untouchable" is the kind of unintentional masterpiece that only movies can provide every once in a while, it has no other pretension than to depict a magnificent and inspiring friendship story starting as a simple job. A young man with a Senegalese background, Omar Sy as Driss, only needs a signature to prove that he attended an interview for a live-in carer job. For some strange reason, Paul, the rich man, played by a wonderful François Cluzet, gives him the job, with a one-month trial period. The reason of this choice is smoothly handled by the script: the film starts with all the job applicants, every one of them unnaturally posing and getting mixed in prepared answers. Then, Driss casually enters, without waiting for his turn or knocking on the door, he's got enough problems to deal with, unemployment, an experience in jail, being a pariah for society, and undesirable even in his own family, especially her adoptive aunt. Driss' attitude pleases Paul, because after his paragliding accident, he can't feel his body from neck to toes, and needs caring almost 24 hours per days and 7 days per week, so he really doesn't have time for bullshit either.
And this is a remarkable aspect in the script written by the two directors Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache: it doesn't waste time cementing the friendship, the two leads rapidly get fond of each other, a feeling illustrated in the poster with both posing with natural smiles. The film shows Omar's struggle to learn how 'needy' Paul is, which provides some priceless comedic moments, but "Untouchable" goes immediately to the core, an eye-opening message about the life endured by a handicapped person, making all the wealth in the world pointless and the richness of heart and mind, priceless. Through Driss and Paul's interaction, the film explores the real needs of people in life, respect and understanding, acceptance and love. Maybe if it was handled by other directors, it would have been predictable but in "Untouchable", the complicity between the two heroes feels absolutely real. There's one scene when Driss shave the bushy beard of Paul, well, I won't spoil it for you, but the part was a clever mix of realism and comedy because anyone would have done what Driss did at one moment, and that's the secret of the film: it feels real.
Some movies can work with a good story but they need good performances, in "Untouchable", it's almost impossible to determine who carried the film, both Cluzet and Sy were great. And I don't get the complaints: why they didn't respect the original story where the carer was an Arab, or how they 'sugarcoated' the handicap? I even heard that in America, they were accusing the film of racism because Driss was portrayed as a sort of (I quote) 'helper monkey'? Seriously, this is getting old The way handicap is approached never flirts with an exaggerated pathos, nor the opposite, which is the most intelligent achievement. There's a sort of heart's intelligence in the way Omar teases Cluzet with his own handicap, and the film provides the extraordinary message that pleasure and thrills have unlimited media, whether they come from pot, an ear-massage or even paragliding.
Many of Paul's friends criticizes the presence of Driss in Paul's life, but Paul doesn't care: Omar is a man full of life, big, tall and strong, and when he uses violence to teach a man the respect of a parking sign, Paul admits this is the right method. Both are in the same wavelength. I wondered if the title "Untouchable" referred to the lowest caste in India, echoing the two men's conditions, both outcasts physically and socially, but I guess, their relationship evolves into a friendship precisely because they're both strong-minded, and together, they become even stronger, until getting untouchables ... in the noblest meaning of the word.
There are real people in "Untouchable", nothing works as plot devices even if some situations are so cinematically appealing: Omar inviting everybody to dance during Paul's birthday, his learning of the aristocratic world, the art of abstract painting, and the way he breaks the conventions with an unconventional charisma reaches a level of energetic comedy that reminds of the greatest days of Eddie Murphy, with Cluzet as a perfect straight-man not deprived from a sense of humor. "Untouchable" is simply an inspiring story of friendship with whatever defines this beautiful virtue.
And yes, it's one of the best French films ever, and certainly one of the best of 2011.
Well, I've just got out of the theater and i must say that all the
reviews are right. this is an amazing film! The actors are simply the
best, Omar is not only a great comic but also a great actor.
The filming has a certain touch that brings to mind "What's Eating Gilbert Grape" in the way the director was able to capture not only the suffering of Phillip but also the joy.
Not wanting to spoil the film for others, i highly recommend seeing this in the theaters and with a loved one.
It is also a good film for teenagers as it holds a few wonderful life lessons.
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.
Just seen last night, amazing movie, great performances from actors, particularly from Omar, and Cluzet is great as usual. Photography of images are great, supported by good choice of locations supporting actors are all good and natural so doing a great job to give a great solid base to the story. RIch of emotions on a simple story where ordinary people become extraordinary. Good representation of social differences in France without being too heavy on it. Simple, beautiful, efficient, like a good French cuisine, making a great dish full of tastes magically mixed :) Most to be watched and even more emotional when you know its based on true story !
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".
I have seen this movie tonight at a preview session as the official
french national release is set on 2011, November 2nd. Eric Toledano and
Olivier Nakashe, accompanied by the lead actor Omar Sy were meeting the
audience and cheerfully answering questions.
The movie is very well written. Although opening on a flash-forward, it is fairly classic comedy about the meeting of two opposite people who were very unlikely to meet. The first one is a paraplegic white middle aged very rich and lonely man, the other one is a young black, poor, unemployed, coming from poor suburbs and a very large family.
What makes the quality of the film, beside the humour present in every scene in which Omar Sy appears (actually most of the film), is the emotion you can feel, through increasingly attaching characters.
The story is based upon a true story, and real characters.
If you want to watch and enjoyable comedy, with very touching moments, this is a must go.
There are interesting insights about arts as well (paintings, classical music, and funk music). What is art? What is its use?
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