Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A Movie You Might Have Missed #46: Intouchables

Sometimes you have to reach into someone else's world to find out what's missing in your own.

46. Intouchables

Wealthy quadriplegic Philippe needs an assistant to help him with all the functions of daily life.

Immigrant, ex-con Driss needs a signature on his application to fulfill unemployment requirements.

Philippe hires Driss because the regular applicants are missing one important quality and the lives of both men are changed.

This sounds like a predictable enough plot except it is played as a sympathetic comedy. Philipe doesn't want pity. Driss has irrepressible honesty and humor that changes the dynamic of many scenes from what we expect to see. They make each other laugh. They enrich each other's lives. They broaden each other's worlds.

It is based on a true story. The original Philippe turned down several movie offers until these filmmakers presented him with this comedic script. After watching the movie I can see why. There are moments of both pathos and comedy for both men. Neither is perfect and each is untouchable in his own way. It shows that no matter our handicaps, life goes on. We choose how to live it.


  1. I loved this one, as well, Julie. So very different than I was expecting. (The musical scene might have been my favorite cinematic moment from last year. If it wasn't the wonderful mustache gag.)

    I especially love that it's (mostly) a comedy.

    1. Agreed! I was so depressed after watching The Diving Bell and the Butterfly that I swore off such movies.

      This one had so many great moments, both comic and touching. I think one of my favorite moments was when Driss is watching his mother clean office buildings. He communicated such feeling simply through expression. And then that was echoed in his younger brother later when they were waiting for her at the train station.

      The film carried a lot of nuance for being so humorous.

    2. Oh, I loved DIVING BELL AND BUTTERFLY, as well. ...but for very different reasons. (And yeah, it's hard to stomach.)

      I really liked the way Toledano and Nakache used the bookend scene. Very clever. (Also, I'm I could watch Omar Sy in pretty much anything/everything. Wonderful work.)

    3. I fell in love with Omar Sy. I'd forgotten that he was in Mic Macs until we looked up his filmography. Another fun French film. Slighter. But still fun.

    4. Also, I have a fear of winding up paralyzed. Not for any reason other than ... like most people, I'm sure, it seems as if it would be horrible. That scene sewing up the eyelid haunts me to this day. So there you go. It was good, but like Sophie's Choice - traumatizing. :-)