“The Intouchables” is one of the best films that I have ever seen. It is the perfect blend of comedy and drama to highlight the tough life led by quadriplegic Philippe Pozzo di Borgo and the loving bond that forms between these highly-unlikely friends. The opening sequence is an intriguing introduction to the characters. Their relationship to each other is left ambiguous and the law-breaking, playful, deceptive, Earth Wind & Fire series of events that occurs creates an immediate curiosity as to how these men found each other. As if that isn’t enough to hook you, the “job interview” that follows will definitely grab you. The script is well paced, providing just enough background information on each character to understand the improbability of a bond growing between them, and then progressively revealing the rest of their pasts while showing the transformation of their lives. The progression of these characters from start to finish is incredible. We even get to see the transformation of the other people that work in Philippe’s home during the smile-inducing dance scene. It is definitely difficult to believe that this is a true story. The characters are so dynamic and the series of events is as fascinating as the best fiction out there, especially the destination that they finally reach at the end. It is completely unfair that this film did not receive an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Film (and the exposure that it receives toward American audiences as a result). I loved “Amore,” the film that won the category, but I believe that this film was ever better. Even the best script is nothing without great acting. Every emotion of François Cluzet relies completely on his facial expressions and his moments of discomfort are very convincing. Even better is Omar Sy, who you would swear is a thug that they just pulled off of the street. The chemistry between these two actors, especially in the moments where they don’t relate to each other, drives the entire film and leaves you feeling like you made a friend once is all said and done. “The Intouchables” is a hidden gem for American audiences but anybody who is lucky enough to see this heartbreaking and uplifting story will find a true perspective-changing experience.
[Pictured: How is this story true?]