Intouchables Dir. Eric Toledano, Olivier Nakache. (2011)

Francois Cluzet and Omar Sy

Francois Cluzet and Omar Sy

In French, with Omar Sy and Francois Cluzet. Based on the story of Philippe Pozzo di Borgo’s life.

Audition sequences have the benefit of collapsing in time the introduction of multiple characters with one or two distinctive traits.  To watch a series of people answer the same question in myriad ways is innately dramatic and often funny.  The beginning of this movie has not quite an audition but job interviews with many people seeking to look after a quadriplegic man who happens to be very rich.  The man in the wheelchair registers little, but when a cheeky man who is only after the unemployment benefit he would gain from not getting the job applies, the employer is intrigued.  Finally an honest applicant.

So begins a relationship not exactly reminiscent of The Odd Couple but with two men of different classes and races who become dependent on each other. The movie’s charm comes from the strong performances of the two leading actors.  Their chemistry is convincing.  There are some funny moments that revolve around the magic of grooming, hair, hats, etc., and a  surprising  ethical dilemma that is resolved in a very satisfying way.

I came to this movie late, through Netflix, long after it opened in theaters, and think that it has aged well so far.



About Patricia Markert

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