* Prices may differ from that shown
Star – Omar Sy
Genre – World Cinema > Comedy
Run Time – 112 minutes
Certificate – 18
Country – France
Amazon – £4.99 DVD (£6.43Blue Ray)
Oscars & Golden Globe Nominated
Awards – 32 Wins & 38 Nominations
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
The Charlie Ebdo massacre reaffirmed Frances racial fault lines, uncomfortably so. White arrogant France thinks they have the right to mock religions. They do it knowing French Muslims are upset about it. They do it because they don’t like them, why 24% of the country voted for a nationalist party. The queues to buy the freedom issue of Charlie Ebdo the week after the tragedy were that same snooty white French middle class. That was not people holding onto unity or free speech but racism at its most subtle but powerful form. But in their movies that ennui doesn’t really exists and they paint France as a vibrant sophisticated coffee drinking, multicultural utopia. It’s their only escapism from their emotional reality they don’t particularly like and certainly feel guilty about. Those Black Muslim guys didn’t shoot up the magazine because of mocking Muhammad so much but because those people in that carton office hated them being French.
The Intouchables (based is an extreme French fantasy that flirts around that racism but one that made a lot of people very happy, France second best selling domestic movie of all time, doing an incredible $436 million world wide from just a $9 million dollar budget, second only to Welcome to the Sticks (2008) as France most loved movie to date. With its exaggerated 8.6 rating it’s the 38th most popular film ever on Imdb.com, no mean feat. It was top in Germany, even beating Skyfall and Twilight: Breaking Dawn! It’s a good film but not a film that should get over 8.
François Cluzet ... Philippe
Omar Sy ... Driss
Anne Le Ny ... Yvonne
Audrey Fleurot ... Magalie
Clotilde Mollet ... Marcelle
Alba Gaïa Kraghede Bellugi ... Elisa
Cyril Mendy ... Adama
Salimata Kamate ... Fatou
Absa Diatou Toure ... Mina
Grégoire Oestermann ... Antoine
Dominique Daguier ... Amie de Philippe
François Caron ... Ami de Philippe
Christian Ameri ... Albert
In modern day Paris…
The aristocratic and intellectual 40-something Philippe (François Cluzet) is a quadriplegic millionaire, numb form the neck down after a handgliding accident. In his grandiose office his secretary is helping him interview candidates for the position of his carer, with his strikingly sexy red-haired secretary Magalie (Audrey Fleurot) doing the talking.
Out of the blue, a rude twentysomething black African called Driss (Omar Sy) cuts the line of candidates. He has been told to attend the interview by the welfare office and if he doesn’t get a document signed to say he has attended an interview he will lose his social security for the week.
Driss is all street and loud but Philippe drawn to him, his exact opposite personality what he needs around the place, challenging Driss to 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 surprisingly sumptuous mansion with likewise quarters, soon hitting on Philippe sexy secretary.
At first the staff look down on the brash African from Senegal. But cook Yvonne (Anne Le Ny) is not as intimidated and gets Driss into the actual routine of caring for a paraplegic, which is a lot of stretching, washing, medicine and ferrying around. The force of nature the simpleton Dress is soon changes the boring life of Phillipe and his employees as the two men bond, having Phillipe smoking a joint and seeing hoars with in the first week. Phillipe, the frustrated intellectual trapped in his body begins to loosen up as he tries to introduce some culture to Driss in return for his stet R&R.
This film is actually based on a true story although the real-life 'Driss' was a young Algerian man called Abdel, directors Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache changing the character's nationality to West-African, as they had enjoyed working with him in a previous film.
Now this is not a film about disability and charismatic and creative handsome men talking with their ears or eyeballs. No, it’s about race, simple as, the shock of coal black underclass immigrant hands on naked white middle-class skin. The director leaves the camera on that moment to make sure you get it. It’s the France many French recognize, the Black Africans unemployed, the white French crossing the road from them and never the twine shall mix.
As far as the movie goes its great fun and no where near as sophisticated as our millionaire. Its joyous funky soundtrack and snappy dialogue is not your normal French movie stuff and Omar Sy’s big round bowling ball head and exploding smile as equally out of place in the sumptuous world that Phillipe lives in. His anti- hero role is designed for you to fall in love with the black street hustler dude you grew up being terrified of. The film almost feels like some sort of apology for Frances racial attitudes and some sort of ‘we can all get along’ feel good story. There is just no way a millionaire aristocrat would employ this guy. The French certainly enjoyed it that way and, as I said, became the countries second most successful film with that near half-a-billion dollar take. The subtitles are not hard work and so a plus there.
Imdb.com – 8.6/10.0 (441,446 votes)
Rottentomatos.com –75% critic’s approval
Metacriitc.com – 57% critic’s approval
Leonard Maltin Film Year Book – 3/4
The Cincinnati Bugle –‘ It's as slick as an oil spill, as sugary as an éclair’,
Movie Metropolis –‘Without getting into spoilers, can I just say how refreshing it was to watch a film about a physically challenged person that didn't end on a total downer?
The Sun Herald –‘Oscar-nominated, lauded at festivals overseas and now, one of the most successful French pictures of all time, The Intouchables is simply irresistible’.
Flicks –‘The cliches are so skillfully navigated only the heartless will fail to be charmed’.
ABC Brisbane –‘The two heartfelt central performances from François Cluzet and Omar Sy will inject you with happiness’.
The Mail –‘This pleasant, predictable, fact-based tale of an unlikely friendship between a quadriplegic and his carer hits all the sweet spots a feel-good movie must’.