Posted by Eric Stumpf
Oliver Nakache and Eric Toledano's The Intouchables will run at Saratoga Film Forum at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 18and Friday, Oct. 19. The film will also show at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 21.
With two outstanding lead performances by Francois Cluzet and Omar Sy, The Intouchables proves to be as inspiring as it is sentimental. The film follows a black Muslim ex-con, Driss (Omar Sy) as he looks for work in France. Driss storms into a job interview with no expectation of being hired, only to find himself offered a job as a caretaker for Phillipe (Francois Cluzet), a white quadriplegic millionaire. The French film is based on the memoir You Changed My Life by Abdel Sellou.
My brother recommended this film to me, raving that The Intouchables is one of the best films he's ever seen. I respect his suggestion, yet as someone who has fairly strong opinions against unrealistically optimistic plot lines, I was skeptical. The plot description for this unlikely friendship is cause for groans, but that is where they will end. Despite all odds it works, and does so with elegance. It's a bro-mance worth watching if there ever was one.
The acting and camaraderie between the two leads is wonderful. There is success in both the comedic and dramatic points of the film, and only a truly grumpy film critic would ignore the redeeming qualities of the story as a whole.
The Intouchables has won over five awards at various international film festivals, and France voted the film as the "The Cultural Event"of 2011. In other words, it's kind of a big deal.
"There are countless magical moments worth recounting, many with humor and involving the clash of the classes: it is not surprising that the film has been a runaway hit in France and elsewhere in Europe," Louise Keller of Urban Cinefile said.
To me, it is France's rendition of John Lennon's Imagine. Enjoy!
Relevant Majors: Psychology, Sociology, Education, French and European Integration Studies
Look out next week for a review of "Safety Not Guaranteed," with Aubrey Plaza (Ron Swanson would be proud), which comes to the Film Forum on Oct. 25.