Friday, December 07, 2012

Intouchables / The Intouchables

Koskemattomat / Intouchables [no on screen Swedish title in the presentation in Finland] / En oväntad vänskap [Swedish title in Sweden]. FR dépôt légal 2011 Quad Productions / Gaumont / TF1 Films Production / T... / . P: Nicolas Duval-Adassovsky, Laurent Zeitoun, Yann Zenou. D+SC: Olivier Nakache, Eric Toledano - based on the book Tu as changé ma vie... by Abdel Sellou - based on the book Le second souffle (2001) de Philippe Pozzo di Borgo. DP: Mathieu Vadepied - Camera: Aaton Penelope, Panavision Primo Lenses, Arri Alexa, Panavision Primo Lenses (some night scenes), Arriflex 435, Panavision Primo Lenses - Film length: 3.065 m - Film negative format: 35 mm (Fuji Eterna Vivid 250D 8546) - Cinematographic process: Digital Intermediate (2K) (master format), Super 35 (3-perf) (source format) - Printed film format: 35 mm, D-Cinema - Aspect ratio: 1.85:1. PD: François Emmanuelli. Set dec: Olivia Bloch-Lainé. Cost: Isabelle Pannetier. Makeup: Thi Thanh Tu Nguyen. Hair: Catherine Duplan. M: Ludovico Einaudi. - Chopin, Schubert, Carl Maria von Weber (Der Freischütz), Vivaldi, Telemann, Händel, Bach, Rimsky-Korsakov, Mozart. - Earth, Wind & Fire, George Benson, Terry Callior, Nina Simone & Hal Mooney. S: Jean Goudier. ED: Dorian Rigal-Ansous. Casting: Gigi Akoka. C: François Cluzet (Philippe), Omar Sy (Driss = Idriss Bakari), Anne Le Ny (Yvonne), Audrey Fleurot (Magalie), Clotilde Mollet (Marcelle), Alba Gaïa Kraghede Bellugi (Elisa), Cyril Mendy (Adama), Christian Ameri (Albert), Grégoire Oestermann (Antoine). Loc: L'hôtel d'Avaray (Paris); Cabourg (Calvados). 112 min. Released by Scanbox Finland Oy (from The Weinstein Company) with Finnish / Swedish subtitles by Scandinavian Text Service. 2K DCP viewed at Kinopalatsi 2, Helsinki, 7 Dec 2012.

The credits of the presentation were in English, but the movie was original in French.

Inspired by the true story of Philippe Pozzo di Borgo and Abdel Sellou, discovered by the film-makers in the documentary film À la vie, à la mort (2003).

Official synopsis: "A rich quadriplegic, living in a mansion in Paris, requires a live-in carer. A young offender turns up for an interview, but he is not really looking to get the job. However, to his surprise, he is hired. The two men then develop a close friendship."

First-rate well-made feelgood entertainment based on a true story.

The themes are eternal. What does all the wealth matter when the health is gone? Can there be a way out of the vicious circle of poverty, deprivation, crime, and lack of education? The Intouchables seems like a wish-fulfillment tale of the invalid finding a new love and the small-time criminal from the projects getting a new start in life. But the story is real.

The foundation of the film is the brilliant humoristic ensemble playing of François Cluzet and Omar Sy as the improbable friends. The performances of the entire ensemble are very good. The protagonists enjoy being themselves despite their desperate circumstances, and we enjoy spending two hours in their company. They are fighters and heroes of their own lives, making the most of it.

Memorable features: - "Aucune pitié" = "No mercy", "that's what I want". - The movie might be compared with Driving Miss Daisy, but it's completely different. - "The wheelchair is not the worst. Life without Alice is." - The Intouchables, like Rust and Bone, belongs to the current of contemporary films with an interesting documentary dimension about modern medicine. Philippe's troubles include phantom pains at night. - Philippe's epistolary romance. - Philippe can experience intensive sexual satisfaction via touching the ears. - The fascination of speed: cars, wheelchairs, and paragliding. - The images during the end credits of the real-life models.

Shot on film, close-ups and interiors look fine after the digital intermediate, but the juicy sense of reality is missing in much of the nature footage.

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