Movie review: The Intouchables

The IntouchablesThe Intouchables is a 2011 French comedy-drama film directed by Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano. It stars François Cluzet and Omar Sy, and is a deeply moving movie, filled with many tender but also humourous moments. It is truly one of the most unique and beautiful friendships I have seen in a movie, ensuring I laughed out loud many times, as well as bringing me to tears. It felt like watching two broken souls, brought together and healed with humanity, friendship and love.

From the perspective of someone who has been a family carer, seen family members in residential care, as well as living with dementia, it could teach support workers and personal carers more than most training videos I have ever seen about person centred care. I highly recommend it, and found it inspiring, rather taunting and very beautiful.

The following is an online review which says it better than I could: “Hollywood does scale like nobody else, leaving the competition gasping in its wake. France does intimacy, and brutality. Nothing is sacred. And rather than try to revive the New Wave or emulate Hollywood like most widely seen French films of late, “Intouchables” harnesses its core strengths – ease with intimacy, willingness to ridicule anything and brutal honesty – and delivers one of the funniest, most honest and touching films I have ever seen.

Sy is a failed robber, going through the motions and playing the stereotypical jobless émigré. Cluzet is a romantic and melancholy mind trapped in a useless body. The circumstances that bring them together are too funny to spoil here, but meet they do, and an awkward relationship quickly blossoms as they bring out the best in each other.

The film’s simplicity is delightfully misleading: the script is a masterpiece of comedy writing, and however good the rest of the cast is, the central duo is magical. Sy’s comic timing will have you in stitches, but it is his honesty and vulnerability that make you fall in love with the character. Cluzet isn’t your typical sad-sack, instead, much of the finest pleasures in the film consist in watching him use his keen mind to mess with the world around him (a subplot about an abstract painting really takes the biscuit, you’ll know it when you see it).

This is one of the most unique, beautiful and honest friendships ever committed to film. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry… a delightful celebration of everything in life that makes it worthwhile.Like one of the online reviewers, also a film maker, I gave it 10/10.

Winner of 7 International Awards. See the trailer here http://www.sbs.com.au/movies/movie/intouchables

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