The Intouchables (M) (112 min)
Directed by Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano, starring Omar Cy, Francois Cluzet.
On the outskirts of Paris, a Maserati races through the night. The driver is a young black man. The passenger is older, and white. He sits immobile, worried, his voice reduced to a few fricatives. Behind the Maserati, a police siren wails into life. ‘‘I bet you a hundred euros I can lose them...’’ says the driver, and floors it. I sit back in my seat (at the new Lighthouse Cuba as it happens. Very nice.) and think ‘‘hang on, I thought this was a comedy...’’
It’s a great opening scene, and it sets the stage brilliantly for a film that is indeed a comedy, but also a fantastic exploration of an unlikely friendship between two men. Omar Cy and Francois Cluzet are Driss and Phillipe. One is a Parisian billionaire who has been left quadriplegic. The other is a streetwise young tough who has been offered a job he can’t refuse. There’s a chemistry between these two – both as characters, and as actors – that is irreplaceable, unfakeable, and unique.
Based on a true story, The Intouchables has been a box-office sensation across Europe, and it’s easy to see why. It may be slight, but I’m not sure I’ve enjoyed any film more this year.
- © Fairfax NZ News