The Intouchables: Instant Classic

October 22, 2012

Even though we missed it in when it was in theaters, we finally caught up with The Intouchables and are so glad we did. Simply and directly, the film is one of the most delightful, poignant, brilliant, exhilarating, heartfelt films of this or any recent year. An instant classic indeed.

The French film revolves around Philippe, a wealthy, widowed Frenchman who has been rendered a paraplegic by a hang gliding accident. Much to the consternation of everyone else in his life, he hires Driss, a young man with a very checkered past as his caregiver or, as he puts it, his “arms and legs.”

What follows is a film that is almost entirely (and thankfully) based on the relationship between Philippe and Driss. That’s right, no plot convolutions, guns, vampires, or exploding toilets. Just good, “old-fashioned” storytelling with two exceptional actors, a witty, deeply felt script, and direction that calls attention only to the unfolding and riveting story, not to camera or editing tricks.

Actors Francois Cluzet, who plays Philippe, and Omar Sy, who plays Driss, portray two people who find each other at exactly the right time in both of their lives.

Philippe is bored and utterly fed up from being so physically helpless and even more so from being on the receiving end of so much pity and sympathy. Into his life, walks Driss who really doesn’t even want the caregiver job at first and only shows up for the interview because he has to prove that he’s actually looking for work. From their very first meeting, both men seem to intuit exactly what they need from each other.

Driss is more fascinated then impressed by Philippe’s condition and immediately begins to crack jokes that delight Philippe even as they horrify his staff. Somehow, Driss knows that Philippe’s soul needs a collaborator, adventurer, and “partner in crime” as much as or more than his body needs physical help.

For his part, Philippe seems to instantly understand that Driss needs someone to believe in and support him as a decent and caring man, irrespective of his past misdeeds.

Through their interaction, we see and feel them fuel each other’s rebirth.

Based on a true story, The Intouchables is absolutely one of my favorite films of 2012.

 

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Lauren simon October 25, 2012 at 2:43 pm

Beautiful Blog babe! Thank-you for honoring such an inspiring film. With so many caregivers in the world, this is a must see! XO

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Brian Mills November 1, 2012 at 1:13 pm

I saw this marvelous movie at one of my favourite London cinemas, Cine Lumiere. Often a sign of a riveting film experience is when the audience does not want to leave but stay until the last credits fade. The Intouchables was such a film because you just wanted to remain in that warm feel-good feeling. For me, undoubtedly the movie of the year.

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Stephen Simon November 1, 2012 at 1:41 pm

So glad you enjoyed it, too, Brian….great, great film indeed.

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Anita May 21, 2013 at 2:06 am

I give this film a thumbs up! They portray the characters very well that the audience can easily relate to the story. Very moving and inspiring!

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