The Intouchables (2011)

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Released 6-Mar-2013

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Biography Deleted Scenes-Five Deleted Scenes (6:03)
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2011
Running Time 107:45
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (55:53) Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Olivier Nakache
Eric Toledano
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring François Cluzet
Omar Sy
Anne Le Ny
Audrey Fleurot
Clotilde Mollet
Alba Gaïa Kraghede Bellugi
Cyril Mendy
Christian Ameri
Grégoire Oestermann
Joséphine de Meaux
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $29.95 Music Ludovico Einaudi


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Unknown French Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English (Burned In) Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     The Intouchables is a sentimental film that will make you laugh with the two main characters who are both outsiders of mainstream society, yet forge an unlikely and inspirational friendship. Philippe (Dustin Hoffman lookalike French actor, François Cluzet) is a wealthy French aristocrat who is paralysed from the neck down due to an injury he sustained while paragliding. His wealth affords him luxury cars, a private jet and staff to attend to his mansion however he needs a full-time caregiver to attend to his personal needs, someone who'd bathe him, dress him, wheel him through his home, and make sure that he takes his medications. Various applicants with impressive resumes and experience seek to fulfil the role, but fail to connect with Philippe on a personal level. Then he meets Driss (French comedian, Omar Sy), a convicted thief from Senegal who has had a recent six-month stint in gaol. Driss doesn't want the job, he would rather get unemployment handouts and pretend to be looking for work. Driss' irreverent and no-nonsense, blunt demeanour appeals to Philippe, who astonishes his friends, family and staff by hiring a convicted criminal. We then realise that Philippe may be disabled as a quadriplegic, but his real disability is his longing for his wife who passed away after his accident from cancer. Driss encourages Philippe to venture outside his comfort zone and start going on adventures again, something Philippe stopped doing after his accident (it's implied that prior to the accident Philippe was a fan of extreme sports such as paragliding, and he has a fondness for luxury sports cars). Philippe and Driss appear to be so different in their socio-economic status ( Philippe is extremely wealthy, Driss had to turn to robbery to support himself), their physical health (Philippe requires constant medication to ease his pain, Driss is physically strong), their education and cultural pursuits (Philippe prefers string recitals and the opera, Driss dances to Earth, Wind and Fire) and even their physical skin colour (Philippe is a white Caucasian French man, Driss is a black African French immigrant). Yet, the appeal of The Intouchables is how Driss' simple pleasures and outlook on life invigorates Philippe to start to live again and enjoy his life.

     The Intouchables is a positive and uplifting experience. Based on a true story which compares with films such as Driving Miss Daisy, Scent of a Woman and in a loose sense, Trading Places, this story of an unlikely bond which transcends socio-economic, class and race barriers makes you see the potential for good in humanity. Hence, why The Intouchables has made $US410 million at the box office on its relatively small $US12 million budget. The box office of the film has made it the second highest grossing French film of all time. In France, Omar Sy received the César Award for Best Actor for his role as Driss (defeating Jean Dujardin, nominated for The Artist), the first French African actor to receive this honour. Surprisingly, The Intouchables was not shortlisted among the nominees for Best Foreign Language Oscar at the recent 85th Academy Awards in February, 2013.

     What caught my attention in regards to this film was the fact that it was rated so highly on the IMDb Top 250. As of March 2013, it occupied 62nd place. From a critical perspective, it only rates at 57% at metacritic.com, based on 31 reviews. Richard Corlis at Time wrote, "Not a great film but a warm one that pushes the viewer's emotional buttons so deftly it feels like a massage. My guess is that you will laugh and cry at all appropriate moments. Resistance is futile." Roger Ebert wrote for the Chicago Sun-Times, "This is a story that has been told time and again in the movies, and sometimes the performances overcome the condescension of the formula." Finally, A.O.Scott of the New York Times likewise stated that "It is possible to summarise the experience of watching The Intouchables in nine words: You will laugh; you will cry; you will cringe." Film critics overall have lamented at the lack of originality here, the odd-couple dynamic has been seen before, appearing in films ranging from the likes of Abbott and Costello to Lethal Weapon. Many critics have been cynical about The Intouchables. However, this is a simple film about two men who find what they’re looking for in each other. Undoubtedly, this is one of best feel-good films of the year.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     This was slickly shot by Mathieu Vadepied on 35mm film.

     The aspect ratio is 1:85:1, 16x9 enhanced for widescreen televisions.

     The transfer looks sharp and contains good detail in many outdoor and indoor scenes with varied lighting.

     Colour is vibrant throughout, with rich greens in nature scenes, snow which is stark-white and night scenes which highlight pitch-blacks.

     The average bitrate is 7.21 m/b per sec, which is very good for a DVD transfer. There are no compression issues here or major artefacts.

     Subtitles, unfortunately, are burnt-in, in English.

     The RSDL change occurs during a scene transition and is not noticeable.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     Ludovico Einaudi employs an eclectic soundtrack to emphasise the different cultural backgrounds of the two main characters, Philippe and Driss.

     The main (and only) soundtrack is a Dolby Digital 5.1 track in French, encoded at 448kbps.

     Dialogue is clear and the audio is synchronised.

     Music ranges from Nina Simone to Earth, Wind & Fire to Vivaldi! Einaudi also makes good use of orchestration to support emotional scenes.

     Surround Channel Usage kicks in during the upbeat songs by Earth, Wind and Fire (you'll be humming September after your first viewing!), the night at the opera scene and during the car driving scenes, which use pan effects.

     The Subwoofer comes into play when the soundtrack utilises its surround sound capabilities, but this is not often as The Intouchables is a dialogue-driven film.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Five Deleted Scenes (6:03)

     The only extra we get are these five short deleted scenes. After viewing them with a 'Play All' option only, I think you'd agree that these scenes were justified in not being included in the final cut.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 1 United States and Region 2 United Kingdom releases are identical to the Region 4 Australian release excepting minor differences in language and subtitling options.

Summary

     I saw this film at the box office and greatly enjoyed watching it again on DVD. This is a film that will appeal to a wide range of audiences. In fact, whilst writing this review my two teenage children insisted on watching it again too! You know a film is good when your children insist on watching it despite being in a foreign language. The Intouchables will greatly entertain your whole family and will not disappoint. It's just a shame there weren't any more extras on offer here!

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© John Stivaktas (I like my bio)
Thursday, March 21, 2013
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S550 (Firmware updated Version 020), using HDMI output
DisplaySamsung LA46A650 46 Inch LCD TV Series 6 FullHD 1080P 100Hz. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderSony STR-K1000P. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationSony HTDDW1000
SpeakersSony 6.2 Surround (Left, Front, Right, Surround Left, Surround Back, Surround Right, 2 subwoofers)

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