Film Review: ‘Intouchables’

By Ellie Clarke

Having been awarded Best Actor awards from both César and the Tokyo International Film Festival, and having received a nomination for the Best Foreign Language Oscar, it seems as though the unexpected box office hit Intouchables really is untouchable.

The most watched film in France is dominated by Omar Sy’s simultaneously humorous, witty, and heart-warmingly sincere performance. Similarly, Francois Cluzet delivers a poignant, yet comical performance, consisting of uniquely droll self-mockery. With these two highly acclaimed actors, Intouchables is full of great one-liners.

The story follows the unexpected friendship between a handicapped millionaire (Cluzet) and his ex-con carer (Sy). The uplifting comedy revolves around the vitality of this unlikely camaraderie, highlighting the importance of trust, friendship and human possibility. Intouchables was inspired by the true story of Philippe Pozzo di Borgo and his carer Abdel Sellou, which the directors Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano came across in a 2004 documentary film.

The film tackles politically precarious issues with ‘kid-gloves’. Issues, such as the poor banlieues of Paris, race, and disability, are addressed by the film, but rather than taking the expected cliché-ridden, insensitive view on such matters, Intouchables succeeds in drawing our attention to them. Whilst the adversities are visible, they don’t choke the general optimistic vibe of the film, once again contributing to the balance that makes this movie ‘incroyable’.

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