Sunday 26 Oct 2014

The Intouchables

Please. Please. Please don’t let “reading” a movie stop you from seeing this film. Also don’t let the fact that Weinstein is already planning a Hollywood remake (with Colin Firth) stop you from see this film. If I may borrow from a follower on Twitter who also saw the movie. It’s “Poignant, hilarious and a beautiful portrayal of meaningful human connection” (Thanks Mimi)

We were invited to see a preview of The Intouchables (and to the French Embassy for the after party). I had never heard of the film. I watched the trailer (see below) and was hooked. I was hoping that the movie wasn’t a “trailer movie”. You know where a film when cut together in the trailer flows, cherry picks the best moments, and makes it more exciting then the actual film.

One word review? Go see this film. Brilliant.

14 Comments

  1. Chris, I’m honored that you quoted me…truly I am! And I didn’t know that Weinstein is planning a remake with Colin Firth, who is at the top of my list of most revered actors! If he agreed to sign on to this project, then it’s guaranteed to be an excellent film!

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  2. Chris says:

    See I am full of useful (and useless) information.

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  3. Chris, what do you and Kate think about some of the American critics’ claim that there are racist/stereotypical elements throughout the film? http://articles.latimes.com/2012/jan/01/world/la-fg-france-untouchables-20120102
    I had a conversation with Adam Birnbaum, Director of Business Development and Film Programming at the Avon after the film and really likes the film, though he sees the racist element and therefore finds fault with this aspect of the film. I found the LA Times article when I got home. I was so enamored with the film that I just went with it and did not see that element. Interesting that the French have a different perspective than these American critics and I feel the same as they feel. And it will be interesting to see how Weinstein treats this story.

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  4. Chris says:

    Wow. Thanks for the link. I didn’t see that at all. Maybe it’s like a politician that speaks out so hard about gay marriage but is actually gay him or herself?

    The actor, Omar, was brilliant. I loved the role. The only surprise I had was the ending when they showed the picture of the real “Driss”. I would have thought that is what they were upset about.

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    • I think the criticism about racial stereotyping is the oversensitivity or maybe the guilt some Americans feel for the injustices of racial inequality that existed in our country for so long and it still rears its ugly head, though maybe not as blatantly, depending on your perceptions! I could extrapolate on this, but I won’t here. My friend Adam said he has difficulty watching film for pure enjoyment without critiquing it because it’s what he’s been trained to do in his work. So when he watches a film, he digs deeply. I’m more drawn to aesthetics, human emotion and connection, so the thinking doesn’t occur until after I’ve seen the film. Does that make sense? (BTW, I LOVE the sound track in The Intouchables.)

      In the case of The Intouchables, we’re watching a French film created by the French who have a different history than ours and different sensibilities; they’re less up-tight, shall we say. I hope this movie gets fairly wide distribution so more people can see it.

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  5. Chris says:

    Harvey said he is going at this film full on so it should be widely released in the states.

    “I’m more drawn to aesthetics, human emotion and connection, so the thinking doesn’t occur until after I’ve seen the film. Does that make sense?” YES that makes sense and pretty much sums up my movie watching.

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  6. Florence says:

    I saw the movie a long time ago, it aired last year in France. I applause to what Mimi Hodgkins says. It’s not a thing about racism, it’s a French movie, we don’t have the same history than you have. The movie is about the discovery. Discovery of a man who sees he can get out of the life he thought was his, getting out of his suburbs to become the man he is. Discovery that being in a wheelchair doesn’t mean being useless, or unworthy. This movie is just a movie about mankind, about humanity. This story is based on a real history ???
    And for the record, the man that inspired Omar Sy’s part wasn’t black at all. He was Algerian :)

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  7. Chris Bro says:

    “And for the record, the man that inspired Omar Sy’s part wasn’t black at all. He was Algerian ” yeah I that was what I referenced before thinking maybe that’s what people were upset about.

    Omar was brilliant.

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  8. Florence says:

    Sorry :o) French here, not always sure I understand everything ;o)

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  9. Chris, I’m glad you relate to the way I perceive and process movies! And Florence, I love your summary of the movie and you expressed it perfectly, “The movie is about the discovery. Discovery of a man who sees he can get out of the life he thought was his, getting out of his suburbs to become the man he is. Discovery that being in a wheelchair doesn’t mean being useless, or unworthy. This movie is just a movie about mankind, about humanity.” I’ll add one observation – it’s also about the unexpected joy that 2 men from totally different backgrounds can bring joy into one another’s lives. So I think the decision to make “Driss” a young black man from the ghettos of Paris enhanced the portrayal of this kind of relationship.

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  10. Florence says:

    Thank you, Mimi. As I wrote before, the “real” Driss is not a black man. It happens the film maker absolutely wanted Omar Sy for the part.. .and around 20 millions French agreed this was the good choice ! 1 French out of 3 went to see the movie – it’s incredible the good it brought here. Not only because it’s a beautiful movie, but also the look on the disabled people has changed. and maybe that’s the best thing the movie has brought. Disabled persons are not seen anymore as worthless or unworthy.
    If I can also add – there has been NO talk at all about Omar Sy’s skin color. it’s not the “poor bad black man” vs the ” good rich white”. Just two actors ( because François Cluzet is awesome too) who were the only one who could take the parts….
    I’m so happy to see this film is being globally understood the same way!

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  11. Florence, I wonder if the day will ever come in the USA when people no longer see racial differences and view people as people. Many Americans are still racially biased which has become painfully obvious since Barack Obama became president. It saddens me.

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  12. Florence says:

    I really hope it for you all, Mimi. I thought that with Obama’s election things would change for the best. But don’t worry, there are racists here in France, too – alas.

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  13. Chris says:

    I think it was Denis Leary that said “Why hate someone for the color of their skin when there are much better reasons to hate them”

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