After having broken box office records in its native France and across Europe, The Intouchables is brought to American screens.
It’s a story about a white man and a black man. The white man is rich and paralyzed from the neck down; the black man is an ex-con from the projects. The former needs a caretaker; the latter needs someone to turn his job application down, so he’ll be eligible for unemployment benefits. They meet. They clash. And, against all odds, they become friends.
That’s the plot of The Intouchables (based on a true story), and that storyline has prompted many American critics to label the film “racist.” Maybe it’s coming from a misunderstanding of some journalists, or from a cultural difference between USA and France, but race is absolutely not the subject.
Indeed, the French title Intouchables which translates literally as untouchable, refers to the 5th Indian caste, these people ostracized by society, as the two characters. Philippe is rich but quadriplegic from a paragliding accident. Opposite, Driss is full of life, but he is poor and comes from the suburbs. His disability is purely social. Using humor to explore the sensitive topics of class inequality, and quality of life for handicapped individuals is a tall order for filmmakers of any country. However, directors Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano accomplished all of this.
An irreverent, uplifting comedy about friendship, trust and human possibility, The Intouchables depicts an unlikely camaraderie rooted in honesty and humor between two individuals who, on the surface, would seem to have nothing in common. A great film!
- In just nine weeks after its release in France on 2 November 2011 it became the second most successful French film of all time (in number of spectators) in the French box office, behind the 2008 film Welcome to the Sticks (Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis).
- The film won the Tokyo Sakura Grand Prix award given to the best film at the Tokyo International Film Festival and the Award for Best Actor to both François Cluzet and Omar Sy in 2011.
- Omar Sy received the César Award for Best Actor on 24 February 2012 for the role of Driss (defeating Jean Dujardin, nominated for The Artist).
- The film currently holds a 81% Fresh rating at the film review aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes, which includes 35 positive and 8 negative reviews out of 43 reviews.
What do you think of this first article in English (homemade too) in order to promote French culture?
Que pensez-vous de ce premier article en anglais (aussi fait maison) pour promouvoir la culture française ?