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DVD Review: The Intouchables

March 15, 2013

The Intouchables Blu-ray CoverThe Intouchables – An Alliance Films’ Release

http://weinsteinco.com/sites/the-intouchables/

DVD Release Date: March 5th, 2013

Rated 14A for coarse language and substance abuse

Running time: 112 minutes

Olivier Nakache (dir.)

Eric Toledano (dir.)

Olivier Nakache (writer)

Eric Toledano (writer)

Ludovico Einaudi (music)

François Cluzet as Philippe

Omar Sy as Driss

Anne Le Ny as Yvonne

Audrey Fleurot as Magalie

Our reviews below:

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The Intouchables DVD Review By John C.

***1/2 (out of 4)

Philippe (Francois Cluzet) is a quadriplegic millionaire living in Paris.  Driss (Omar Sy) is a poor African man living with his large family in the projects, struggling to make ends meet.  When Driss finds himself hired to be Philippe’s personal caretaker, what ensues is a hilarious and moving story of an unlikely friendship built around a mutual respect between two people who couldn’t be more different.  Although Driss might not be the most technically qualified for the job, he teaches Philippe the importance of being able to laugh and find joy amidst the challenges of his life, and they both help each other in unexpected ways.

Right from the opening scene of the film, a flash forward to a high speed drive through France, we just know that The Intouchables is going to be something special.  There are plenty of hilarious scenes in the film, including some memorable moments that come from their differing tastes in music, but there is also a deeply felt humanity to the film, right through to the bittersweet final scene.  Already a hit in France, The Intouchables is an incredibly well acted film that is exhilarating in the way it mixes humour with a deeply heartfelt story, delivering an inspirational and uplifting experience.

The Blu-ray includes nine deleted scenes.

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The Intouchables DVD Review By Erin V.

**** (out of 4)

Based on a true story, The Intouchables is about two men – a quadriplegic rich man named Philippe (François Cluzet), who after looking for a caregiver gets an unexpected choice in a man from a poor neighbourhood named Driss (Omar Sy).  At first Driss just wanted to go to the job interview to get a signature proving he was looking for work to satisfy the benefit office, but Philippe challenges him that he wouldn’t last a month in the job and Driss takes him up on the challenge.

As they get to know each other, a real friendship develops between two people who couldn’t be more different from their tastes in music, to way of speaking, and pretty much their whole way of life.  Both lead actors give amazing performances, and the film perfectly weaves an emotional, but also very entertaining story.

As a matter of fact, right from the opening scene, the comedic elements of the film are clear.  The dialogue between the two of them and the way they interact makes for perfect natural comedy and a picture of true friendship.  The Intouchables is a perfect film that really deserves to be seen, especially now that it’s available on DVD.  The film is in French with subtitles, but has a universal appeal.

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The Intouchables DVD Review By Nicole

**** (out of 4)

Based on a true story, The Intouchables follows two very different men in an unlikely friendship.  Driss (Omar Sy), a down on his luck man living in the projects, is looking for work.  He ends up working as a personal support worker (PSW) for a rich man named Philippe (Francois Cluzet), who is quadriplegic due to a paragliding accident.  While most PSWs treat Philippe as a patient, Driss treats him as a friend in need of support.

The Intouchables is funny and heartfelt.  It shows the hardships of poverty, classism and physical handicaps, yet it focuses on the humanity.  The dialogue is witty, clever and cheeky at times.  The film really delves into these people’s lives.  One of the things I found very moving is the suspense that builds around Philippe’s pen pal girlfriend.  She doesn’t know he is paralyzed from the neck down, and Philippe doesn’t know how to tell her.

What makes The Intouchables such a beautiful film is the friendship that develops between Philippe and Driss.  This movie is one that is definitely worth seeing.

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The Intouchables DVD Review By Maureen

***1/2 (out of 4)

The Intouchables is a funny and heartwarming story of a friendship between two men who at first glance are polar opposites.  Philippe (Francois Cluzet) is rich, sophisticated and paralyzed from the neck down after a paragliding accident.  Driss (Omar Sy) has done time, lives in the projects and prefers government benefits to employment.

The movie opens with a high speed ride in a Mazerati with Driss at the wheel betting with Philippe he can outdrive the police.  The whole scene is exciting and comes to an amusing conclusion.  The movie then goes to flashback and reveals how they met and what got them to the point of the energetic ride.

Philippe and Driss first meet when Philippe is interviewing personal support workers for his 24 hour care.  Driss is there only to get his benefit form signed stating he tried but didn’t get the job.  Philippe, tired of the usual support workers who are qualified and experienced but treat him like a patient first and person second, sees an irreverence in Driss that just seems refreshing.  He challenges Driss to try the job for a week.  Driss accepts and it turns out he is exactly what Philippe needed – someone to laugh with him and at him and reintroduce some fun into his life.

There are so many funny and touching scenes in this movie that drives home the truth about differences in class, income or physical ability not really mattering.  Based on a true story, this wonderful French film, after a successful run in France, deserves to find an audience in North America on disc in its current subtitled format.  The excellent performances by the two leads Francois Cluzet and Omar Sy are worth seeing.  The Intouchables is wonderful.

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The Intouchables DVD Review By Tony

**** (out of 4)

The Intouchables, based on a true story, is about the relationship between the wealthy quadriplegic Paris aristocrat Philippe (François Cluzet) and his personal support worker Driss (Omar Sy). After an amusing opening car chase scene that continues at the film’s end, most of the film deals in flashback. Coming from a suburban working class housing project with a criminal record, Driss was only hopelessly applying for the psw job as a formality to qualify for welfare. Though Driss lacked any formal training, and flirted shamelessly with Philippe’s assistant Magalie (Audrey Fleurot), Philippe was intrigued enough to hire him on a trial basis, putting him up in a luxurious room in his house, despite initial scepticism from his nurse Yvonne (Anne Le Ny) and warnings from his snooty friends.

Despite their huge differences, Philippe and Driss get on well together because they see each other as equals. Over a number of touching and often very funny situations, each pushes the other to challenge their limitations and appreciate what the other has to offer, resulting in a film that is so much fun that its 112 minutes go by quickly. The story is both universal and (despite subtitles that change a few cuss words and names of French politicians to American equivalents) very French, not least because everyone smokes (though Driss at times provides considerable comfort to Philippe with tobacco alternatives).

The two leads and supporting cast are all excellent, and the musical score composed and assembled by Ludovico Einaudi provides a perfect background for the various scenes.

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Consensus: Based on an inspiring true story about unlikely friendship, The Intouchables is an often funny and deeply heartfelt French film, carried by incredible performances from Francois Cluzet and Omar Sy.  ***3/4 (Out of 4)

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