The Intouchables

COMIC DRAMA; 1hr 52min (French with subtitles)

STARRING: François Cluzet, Omar Sy, Anne Le Ny

Never give up: Sy (left) and Cluzet

Philippe and Driss are societal opposites united by attitude. Life hasn’t been kind to either: although dazzlingly rich, Philippe (Cluzet) has been left a quadriplegic following an accident, while ex-con Driss (Sy) has both feet firmly planted on the other side of the Parisian tracks. Both refuse to be crushed by circumstances, however. Driss, brash and rebellious, is charged with life, and beneath Philippe’s suave exterior lurks a sly sense of fun. When they meet, at a round of interviews for a new carer, Philippe recognises a fellow pragmatist and impulsively picks the laughably unqualified Driss for the post. “That’s what I want,” he says. “No pity.”


The two grow close, though, and as they do, each enhances the other. Yet, as written and directed by Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano, The Intouchables is the anti touchy-feely. Bracing and laugh-aloud funny, its tailor-made marriage of opposites is uplifting but never sanctimonious, with tight-knit performance teamwork that chimes on every note and the deal-closing bonus of being grounded in, and based on, truth.