Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A French Bromance

Just as I love to read indie books, I also love to watch indie and foreign films. I know Americans sometimes believe they have the corner on telling those inspirational stories ala The Blindside, but there are plenty of other countries out there that can bring that same insight and feeling to the screen.

While on vacation, I took in the wonderful foreign film that has been brought to the US (thanks to the Weinstein Company) called The Intouchables. The fact this French film is based on a true story only makes it that much more enjoyable. Now I'm well aware that when filmmakers get a hold of a true story, they still need to make changes for the screen. And those were done in this film (especially by making it a bromance between a black con man and a white quadriplegic aristocrat when in real life the man wasn't black). I've read some reviews that say the characterization of the black man is too stereotypical, but I approached it from a different perspective. I watched this man living in the projects and thought "what a universal story." This could be in the US, Great Britain, France - you name it. The US does not hold the market on people working multiple jobs and attempting to make something of themselves. I found the economic differences between the two a wonderful way to deliver this story. 

I was so taken by the performances of both men in this film. The word 'adorable' came to my mind as I watched the genuine relationship between them. Omar Sy gave an award worthy performance as the con man who not only learns from his employer, but teaches him so much. The camera loves him and he just beams enthusiasm. And Fran├žois Cluzet is the french Dustin Hoffman who does more acting in his face than I've seen in such a long time. I was very moved by this man's plight to be taken for himself and not have pity from the world. 

I highly recommend this film and do hope it is well remembered come awards time next spring.

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