Intouchables (Untouchable) , a 2011 French dramatic comedy, has swept the Republic of France like a wildfire, sweep up awards and movie-setting records in its wake. The story, a ironic depiction of two very different men living two very different lives but learning to fraternize, was actually inspired by a 2004 documentary.
Philippe (François Cluzet) is an extremely wealthy tetraplegic who is in desperate need of a care-taker. Philippe’s ailment stemmed from a paragliding incident and his wife, who would normally be taking care of him, died at a very young age. Therefore, aside from his daytime assistant Magalie (Audrey Fleurot), he must hire someone new on full-time basis. Enter Driss (Omar Sy).
Driss’s motives are quite different; all he wants is a signature from the heir saying he interviewed with him so he can continue receiving unemployment benefits. From a downtrodden neighborhood with little to his name, he is astounded to find out he has been hired on a temporary basis. But when the stark differences between the two men arise, coexisting is harder, and sometimes funnier, than one might have imagined.
Directed by Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano, Intouchables has become the second most successful French film of all time (in terms of spectators) in only its first nine weeks in theaters. It has since become a cultural phenomenon, being voted as the cultural event of the year. If you speak French, we highly recommend it. If not, availability for it in the United States is in the works, so keep your eyes peeled.