Skip to comments.The French Flock to a Feel-Good Movie "Untouchables"
Posted on 12/11/2011 6:54:59 PM PST by Cincinna
When it was released last month, Intouchables seemed an unremarkable, lowbrow French comedy, a small-budget film with actors little known outside France hamming it up in a story about a stodgy, disabled aristocrat and the good-humored ex-con whom he hires as his aide.
But only four weeks after its release the movie has attracted 11 million viewers, almost 17 percent of the French population.
Intouchables, is based on the true story of Philippe PozzodiBorgo, a wealthy businessman who was left a quadriplegic after an accident, and his aide, an unemployed, Algerian-born resident of a lower-class banlieue. (The film recreates the aide as a young black man from the housing projects.)
The script is centered on the bond that grows between the two.(sn)
For different reasons the characters are lost and lonely, and they end up helping to enrich each others lives.
This epic of the tall black and the little white guy is tenderly funny and a true achievement, said a recent editorial in Le Monde. Some commentators even compared the buoyant humor of Intouchables to Frank Capras movies.
Its well written and well told, a sociologist who specializes in cinema and is president of the University of Avignon, said It tells a lot about the permanent value of living together in harmony(sn)
Intouchables has also been criticized for its idealistic vision of a world without social gaps, where an aristocrat can befriend an ex-con. The newspaper Libération denounced the dictatorship of emotion as a camouflage to the total absence of thought, while Variety pointed at what it called the films primitive racism, describing Driss as a role barely removed from the jolly house slave of yore.
The movie, Varietys writer added, flings about the kind of Uncle Tom racism one hopes has permanently exited American screens.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
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They also considered “Le Jerry” to be a genius.
French cinema goes PC. I found it interesting to notice that the left wing mouthpiece for the Socialist Party drooled over this trash, while more right wing papers were critical.
The French “Driving Miss Daisy”, a few decades later?
This is a patronizing movie that assuages white liberal guilt, which the French left is submerged in.
Just look at Rwanda, if you want to know the real French attitude about blacks.
The Nazis under Goebbels took propaganda on cellulose to great heights.
They made awful flicks and they made up for it by making lots of people dead. You cannot honestly say the same about the French.
Quentin Tarentino demonstrated this to the acclaim of almost nobody via his amazing work “Inglorious Basterds.”
Want to watch a movie?
Cinema Francais s’il vous plait.
What’s the unemployment rate in France?
Driving Miss Daisy was what occurred to me, too. That was a movie I skipped, but couldn’t help hearing about from all sorts of breathless commentaries.
>>>”The French Flock to a Feel-Good Movie “Untouchables””<<<
Given the state of economy in La France, I guess they wanted to take a break from Les Misérables.
Ironically though, most of the best movies I’ve seen over the past few years, have been German movies: Goodbye, Lenin!, Sophie Scholl-The Final Days, to name a few.
Here's how you do a story with universal appeal. First, destroy the world. Render it uninhabitable and everybody is miserable. Then, bring it back, or stop the destruction. That's a comedy (happy ending). Or, everybody is happy and bad things happen, and at the end everyone is worse off than their wildest fears. That's a tragedy (sad ending).
I think I'll watch this movie. A healthy man helps a horribly wounded man and they achieve spiritual victory. What's not to like.
In France, even cinema is an entitlement! The unemployed & students get in free or half price. What an incentive to look fir a job!
Current rate (September 2011) is 9.9%
Yes, I mean to mention that one as well.
One of my favorite moves EVAR..!!!
>>>”Cinema Francais sil vous plait.”<<<
Oui, bien sûr.
French Cinema is one of the best. The French don’t make good “action” movies (compared to Americans). However, they are good at high quality, innovative movies, together with some of the classics. La Mome (La Vie en Rose) about Edith Piaf, La Belle et la bête, Les Diaboliques (Diabolique), and Le Fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain, are a few that immediately come to mind.
Don’t think the unemployed here in Australia can, but students (I think) can get a discount here too. Though I believe it may only apply to limited movie theatres.
Early French cinema us amazing, new movies, not so much.
Some of the best:
Which ones have you all seen?
Shoot the Piano Player
Les Enfants du Paradis
La Reine Margot
Au Revoir Les Enfants
Jules and Jim
Story of Adele H
Jean de Florette
The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie
From your list: Diabolique, La Rein Margot, Camille Claudel, and Les Enfant du Paradis. In addition to the ones mentioned in #17. I agree, older ones are more amazing.
In Australia we have a tv station called SBS. It often shows foreign movies (with subtitles) which helps me keep up my linguistic interests in European languages (French, German & Spanish). Since, unlike living in Europe or the UK, one isn’t easily exposed to & doesn’t get the chance to practice a different language, unless it is an Asian one.
We also have a number of cinemas here which mostly show foreign movies (w/ subtitles), particularly French ones. Naturally, actors/actresses such as Juliette Binoche, Jean Pierre Jeunet, Isabelle Adjani, Gérard Depardieu, Catherine Deneuve, and Jean Reno are some of the more popular & well-known ones in an English speaking country like Australia.
In the late 1970s when I was a kid I do remember thinking Alain Delon was really handsome. Louis de Funes was incredibly funny, in the same decade. But, I wasn’t living in Australia then.
typo = La Reine & Les Enfants
In the actual Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Uncle Tom was beaten to death, and yet doesn’t seem to have suffered half as much as these miserable liberal malcontents that are ever likening trans-racial comity to said avuncular figure.
Wasn’t the Piano Player one, more like Ne Tirer le Pianiste? (Don’t shoot the pianist?) Which immortalized the modern reproduction of Wild West bar signs, “Don’t Shoot The Piano Player.” (Oddly enough, I’ve had a very hard time trying to locate one today, even on eBay. Could shooting itself be too un-PC a thing to mention anymore, even as an obvious joke?)
>>>”more like Ne Tirer le Pianiste? (Dont shoot the pianist?)” Which immortalized the modern reproduction of Wild West bar signs, Dont Shoot The Piano Player.<<<
The expression in French is “Ne tirez pas sur le Pianiste” (don’t shoot the messenger).
But you can buy “Tirez sur le Pianiste” (shoot the piano player) - (DVD, 1999) on ebay! :) - http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=Tirez+Sur+Le+Pianiste
When I went to school in France I would get accosted with “oh, you Americains, you are so cruEL to the blacks and the IndiEns!”. I had to hear over and over how racist I was. So I would say, look how you all treat the Arabs. I actually got, a few times, “Mais c’est different! Ils sont ARABES!”. (But that’s different. They’re ARABS!”) The last word said with emphasis and disgust. And this was long before the 9/11 era.
Shall we also mention to the French their treatment of the Jews during WWII? It’s not like the Germans had to twist their arms very hard to comply.
“driving miss daisy” was still a good film. Several great actors, and until that movie I didn’t understand there was a huge and very old Jewish community in the South. With glorious old synagogues. Fascinating.
I’ve seen about half of those. We used to go to an art movie theater just over from Harvard Square when I was in college and grad school. They showed a lot of French and European films. Some with subtitles, some without, and as I recall just about all in black and white.
All of the Bergman films, too.
I’m sorry I left out “Shoot the Piano Player “ (Tirez Sur Le Pianiste) It is still considered one of the great classics of cinema. It is widely available on eBay & Amazon.
Truffaut was one of the founders of La Nouvelle Vague (New Wave) cinema. This film along with Les Quatrefoil Cent Coups (400 Blows) are his earliest films.
I also like very much “le Dernier Metro” The Last Metro, one of his last successes.
Truffaut left us far too soon. He was only 52.
Speaking of French movies, the movie “Hugo” was a nice tribute to the legacy of Georges Meiles.
Of the films you listed, I’ve seen all but La Reine Margot, and have most of them on DVD. The French film industry is a pipsqueak compared to Hollywood’s massive output; perhaps that’s part of the reason that French cinema seems to me to have a higher percentage of good and great films.
Manon des Sources (can’t mention Jean de Florette wihout Manon!)
La Maman et la Putain (unobtainium on DVD or tape - but oddly enough, the entire film is on YouTube)
Zazie dans le Metro
Le Grand Blond avec Une Chaussure Noire (I think I’ll throw the LD in the player tonight)
La Règle du Jeu
Le Salaire de la Peur
Le Genou de Claire - heck, anything Rohmer directed
L’Armée des Ombres
...and a ton more. Can you tell I’m a BIG fan of French films? :-)
Just my assessment that “racism” is historically specific to a country or nation. Overall, imo, Americans are much less “racist” than Europeans, or non-Europeans such as the Japanese.
Agree. Since American culture us based on individualism, most of us, especially we conservatives, tend to judge people as individuals, not as a group.
FWIW The Japanese are probably the most racist of all. In a monolithic culture, there “superiority” is inbred for centuries. This is a generalization, but my experience with the Japanese they disrespect all non-Japanese.