'The Intouchables' is a heart warming film that delivers laughs and charm. The performances from Francois Cluzet and Omar Sy are some of the best you'll see all year. After watching this great film, you'll immediately know why Harvey Weinstein snatched up the rights to remake it in English.
Based on real people, 'The Intouchables' reminded me of the best parts of 'Scent of a Woman,' 'Driving Miss Daisy,' and even 'Trading Places.' The two directors, Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache, perfectly crafted a very inspiring story that proved to be a huge hit that pulled audiences in for an emotional and fun ride, even if it's a bit cliche.
The film centers around Phillipe (Cluzet), an older and very wealthy gentleman, who lives with his daughter Elisa (Alba Gaia Kraghede Bellugi) in a posh Paris apartment. However, Phillipe is now a paraplegic due to a paragliding accident, which left him with movement from his neck up. He has grown tired of eveyone's sympathetic and pitying looks, and sets out to hire someone new.
After meeting a few impressive candidates, Phillipe becomes entranced with a younger fellow named Driss (Sy), who is not your typical caretaker, and who doesn't even want to be one, but applied solely to keep receiving his monthly government welfare check. Driss comes from a very different background and is not used to living so luxuriously,when he accepts the job, he has no idea what to do with himself, although his audacious charm and quick wit help him keep up. It's because of this self-assertive and bold attitude, that Phillipe takes a liking to Sy, as the newcomer doesn't look at him with regret or sadness.
Once Driss begins to undergo a transformation of sorts, things start to take off with some very endearing, wild, and unanticipated twists and turns for both men. We see the strangers become friends as they teach each other their values and differences through a wide variety of lessons and activities, all of which make for great movie-making. You might even see an homage to a movie I mentioned above.
'The Intouchables' doesn't do anything to change the game here, nor do I think that was the directors' intentions. However, it can stand on its own due to its amazing performances, beautiful filmmaking, and triumphant real-life story, as we are treated to to get a glimpse at the real life people Driss and Phillipe are based on. Sy and Cluzet deserve many awards for their performances and have deservedly already received a bunch. I really connected with them and wanted to stay with the duo for much longer than I had.
I'm sure most of you will be inspired and moved by the end of the film and will probably want to show your friends and loved ones this movie and discuss it after. I'm not sure what will come of the remake or if it will have an impact on me like this one did, but 'The Intouchables' packs enough magic and allure to make me press the replay button, it made me wish I had a friend like Driss.
'The Intouchables' comes with a great 1080p HD transfer presented in 1.85:1 aspect ratio.
This looks exceptional, with amazing detail throughout. You can make out the facial stubble of the actors and imperfections of their skin on closeups with ease. The colors are vibrant too, with tons of nature colors, which beautifully showcases the outdoor scenery of France. The blacks are deep and inky here too and the contrast is spot on. There was no edge enhancement or video noise to speak of.
This is a great video presentation.
This release comes with an very good lossless French DTS-HD 5.1 audio mix, which sounds majestic.
The dialogue is crystal clear here and is perfectly placed in the fronts. The directionality of the voices and sounds does a great job here too. The score and songs sounds full and great as they come across nicely through the rears and surrounds, and it never drowns out the dialogue or the sound effects. Even the subwoofer kicks in a little with some of the musical numbers and a few of the scenes.
There were no flaws with this audio presentation.
'The Intouchables' is an amazing movie, one that deserves to be watched over and over again. While it's not the most original film you'll see all year, it definitely stands tall on the strength of its story. The audio and video presentations are top notch, however the extras are very lacking. It would have been nice to have more in that department. But don't let that stop you from picking this gem up. Highly recommend.