A new French film I wrote about titled Intouchables (Untouchable), will make its world premiere as the closing night film at the 59th San Sebastian Film Festival in Spain next month.
The film, which is said to be based on a funny and moving true story, centers on the relationship between a wealthy white aristocrat who becomes a quadriplegic after a paragliding accident, and the young “street-tough” black man he hires to take care of him.
The film stars Omar Sy as our “street-tough” dude, Driss, while François Cluzet (whom I actually recently watched in the engaging 2006 French thriller Tell No One), stars as Philippe the rich quadriplegic.
The pair in character in the photo above.
I should also remind you all of the fact that Harvey Weinstein and his Weinstein Company have acquired both stateside distribution rights to the original film AND, more noteworthy, the English-language remake rights to a French buddy.
So, we should prepare to see an Americanized version of this some time in the future.
I’m not familiar with the true story that the film is based on, and couldn’t immediately find anything about it on the web, and I can only help but wonder what Harvey sees in it to warrant a Hollywood remake. Based on what I’ve learned about the original story thus far, there’s nothing particular fresh about the basic concept, and one can’t help but instantly see some potential derisive character archetypes here, specifically where the black man is concerned.
But, again, some of its context may be lost in translation for me, so I’ll wait until I actually see the original film before dumping on the entire the project, as well as the Weinsteins remake. Given that it is based on true events, I’m wondering if Harvey will stick to the original story and characters (the right white quadriplegic and the poor, street smart, black tough guy), or revamp the entire idea.
I couldn’t find a trailer, except for the below behind-the-scenes footage from Les Intouchables, which features interviews with the directors and 2 stars. I wish it were subtitled, as it might give us a much better idea of what to expect from the film. But maybe our French-speaking readers can help with a summary. Regardless, I’ve added the film to my “watch list.”