Starring: François Cluzet, Omar Sy, Anne Le Ny, Audrey Fleurot, Clotilde Mollet.
Rated R. Biography/Drama/Comedy. Subtitled. Running Time: 1 hour 52 minutes.
We now have a tie for best movie I’ve seen in 2013 thus far. It’s a dead heat between Silver Linings Playbook & the brilliant surprise, The Intouchables. Our dear friend Kevin suggested it to us several months ago after viewing it in the theatre, but the subtitled foreign film was under limited release, so it wasn’t the easiest showing to find. We figured we’d wait until it graced the ‘shelves’ of our beloved Red Box. Ross & I went into it with open minds and absolutely no idea what it was about, which is my favorite way to be pleasantly surprised. The Intouchables is based on the true story of an extremely wealthy quadriplegic who hires an obnoxious young man from the projects of Paris to be his personal caretaker. He craves the unsympathetic nature of Driss (Sy) and sees more than meets the judgmental eyes of his family and friends. In one scene the handicapped Philippe (Cluzet) defends his decision of hiring Driss by explaining, “That’s exactly what I want…no pity.” The best part of this heartfelt & intimate piece of cinema is the humor. It is a rare and special thing when someone can tell a story that is steeped in so much tragedy and incorporate this much laughter.
I’m guessing that I’m not that unique in the respect that when I see the word “Subtitled” in association with a movie, I tend to dismiss it immediately. If it wasn’t for Kevin’s recommendation, we would NEVER have seen this movie. Thank you my friend, you never let us down. The Intouchables has everything you want in a film. It makes you laugh and cry and root for the underdog. Well I suppose everything I want in a movie at any rate. Driss is the most unlikely caretaker you could ever imagine, “those street punks have no pity” after all. But the relationship between he and Philippe is riveting. I’ve also never laughed so hard while reading words on screen. In one scene Driss is pouring scalding water on Philippe’s legs, marvelling at the fact that he can’t feel anything. In another he throws snowballs at him imploring him to fight back. Ex-daredevil Philippe takes a petrified Driss paragliding, and the exultation he finds seems absolutely genuine. Chemsitry on screen. We mentioned it in Silver Linings Playbook about Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper. You can’t teach it or aquire it, it has to just happen and Cluzet and Sy have it in spades. One final note, not that it has any bearing on anything, but Francois Cluzet is the spitting image of Dustin Hoffman circa Rain Man era, late 80’s early 90’s. Not just a vague resemblance, like a Parisian carbon copy. He even smiles and laughs the same. Just another added element for your viewing pleasure, so do yourself a favor and go rent it, now!
He is the spitting image of early 90’s Hoffman; the resemblance is uncanny. There are so many wonderful scenes packed with well written dialogue and intriguing plot developments. Ross is on point with the chemistry too, it is extremely palpable in both Silver Linings and The Intouchables. I personally love movies with subtitles, but it does take a little convincing to get Ross aboard. I think he may be warming up to the idea now that he enjoyed our latest attempt. DO NOT let the subtitles be the deciding factor here. This film is poignant, brilliant and well worth the reading. Unfortunately, the film was not decorated with much deserved nominations and awards on U.S. soil, but has had plenty of critical acclaim and success abroad. Most definitely a bit of a hidden gem.
Ross’ Rating: 4.5 Gummy Bears out of 5.
Maria’s Rating: 5 Gummies! Trés bien!