I went to see a French film. At the cinema. And it’s not even July! Intouchables is based on the true story of Abdel Sellou and Philippe Pozzo Di Borgo (also available in books form; You Changed My Life). It is apparently the second most successful French film ever, although I had never heard of it until I got the preview email through and many in the cinema were not even aware it was a subtitled film! Although most sounded pleasantly surprised, so well done promoters for tricking everyone into enjoying international cinema.
Phillipe is a wealthy quadriplegic, living in a luxury mansion in the heart of Paris. When interviewing for yet another carer, young Driss turns up asking for a signature. Straight out of prison, he doesn’t want the job but three failed interviews means he gets benefits. Phillipe finds his attitude and lack of pity refreshing and offers him a month’s trial when he returns the next day.
I know what you’re thinking, this sounds like a male version of Me Before You, right? Well there are some similarities and a few moments that made me think of it, but the dynamics between the two are completely different. And Untouchable is so funny, that you’re much less likely to leave the cinema a sobbing wreck. Francois Cluzet does an amazing job acting only from the neck up and Omar Sy is full of charm with an infectious smile.
Funny, touching and beautifully shot with a gorgeous soundtrack to boot. If you enjoy foreign film, it’s a must see and even if you don’t, don’t let the subtitles put you off. Whilst it looks great on the big screen, I’m not sure I would recommend a cinema outing unless you understand French as it’s so easy for the subtitles to be cut off my someone’s head! Or maybe that’s only a problem for short people but I heard a few quibbles about that as I was leaving. Why can’t they put them at the top of the screen (I know they are called something different but the word escapes me)?
Untouchable will be in UK cinemas from 21st September 2012.
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