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The Intouchables Blu-ray Review



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#1 of 7 OFFLINE   Richard Gallagher

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Posted March 05 2013 - 03:29 PM

The Intouchables is an inspiring and uplifting film from France which will touch the hearts of the most hardened filmgoers. The Intouchables was a major box office hit in France, and viewers both there and in the United States are perplexed about the fact that it failed to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. Regardless of that snub, it is now available in a beautiful Blu-ray release from Sony. To quote HTF's Ron Epstein, The Intouchables is an "absolute gem."





The Intouchables 
Studio: Sony Pictures Classics
Year: 2011
Rated: R
Program Length: 112 minutes                  Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 1080p
Languages: French 5.1 DTS-HD MA
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish

The Program

The Intouchables is an inspiring and uplifting film from France which will touch the hearts of the most hardened filmgoers. The Intouchables was a major box office hit in France, and viewers both there and in the United States are perplexed about the fact that it failed to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. Regardless of that snub, it is now available in a beautiful Blu-ray release from Sony. To quote HTF's Ron Epstein, The Intouchables is an "absolute gem."

Philippe (François Cluzet) is a wealthy French aristocrat who also happens to be paralyzed from the neck down due to an injury he sustained while paragliding. He owns multiple luxury vehicles, has his own private jet, and a household staff to take care of his opulent surroundings. However, he needs to hire a caregiver - someone to bathe him, dress him, wheel him through his home, and make sure that he takes his medications. Philippe interviews a series of applicants who have impressive credentials but who fail to connect with him on a personal level. Then he meets Driss (Omar Sy), a convicted robber from Africa who recently was paroled. Driss really is not looking for a job - he is applying for unemployment and he needs to demonstrate that he is seriously seeking work. Something about Driss' irreverent attitude appeals to Philippe, who astonishes everyone by hiring the ex-convict.

It quickly becomes apparent that Philippe needs not only a caregiver but also a companion, someone who can lift his spirits and make life interesting. Philippe is a widower and his only child is a self-absorbed daughter. The members of his staff appear to be loyal, but they would never regard themselves as Philippe's friends. He and Driss could hardly be more different. The newly hired companion sizes up Philippe's lifestyle and decides that he needs to get out and experience something of life away from his isolated, privileged existence. At the same time, it is easy to see why Philippe is drawn to the young African. Driss is gregarious and unfailingly upbeat. He introduces Philippe to new music and surroundings, and even gets him to smoke pot. Before long they are tearing around the streets of Paris in a Maserati, paragliding in the Alps, and chasing after women. It is not only Philippe who is rewarded by the relationship. Driss finds meaning in his life through the friendship and encouragement he provides to Philippe.

The Intouchables is deftly directed by Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano, who also collaborated on the script (which in turn is based upon the best-selling non-fiction book "You Changed My Life"). The performances by François Cluzet and Omar Sy are nothing short of outstanding. Cluzet's character cannot move on his own, so he brilliantly plays the part with just his voice and facial expressions. Omar Sy has been acting in films for more than a decade, but he is a revelation to American audiences who are unlikely to have seen him before. Some critics have objected to The Intouchables for being overly sentimental and formulaic, and there is some truth to that. However, the performances are so good and the story is so appealing that this is a film which is well nigh impossible to dislike.

The Video

The 1.85:1 1080p image is simply wonderful, and we have come to expect nothing less from Sony. Every scene is highly detailed and perfectly focused. Colors and vibrant and accurate, flesh tones are excellent, and viewers will be dazzled by a paragliding scene in the Alps. Dark scenes of Paris at night benefit from excellent shadow detail and superb black levels. The image appears to be correctly framed throughout. This Blu-ray transfer is as close to flawless as it gets.

The Audio

The outstanding lossless 5.1 DTS-HD MA audio is the equal of the Blu-ray's video. The film benefits from an eclectic musical soundtrack which adds considerable richness to the experience. As the two men travel we get to experience a wide variety of effective sound effects which give the surround channels a surprising amount of work to do. Viewers who are fluent in French should have no difficulty hearing the dialogue, and the English subtitles are easy to read for those who need them.

The Supplements

The only extras with The Intouchables are five deleted scenes which are shown in standard definition. They have a combined running time of approximately six minutes.

Sony has included previews of The Artist; Silver Linings Playbook; Now is Good; Robot & Frank; Playing for Keeps; and A Dark Truth.

Also included are instructions for streaming or downloading an UltraViolet copy of the film.

The Packaging

The single disc is packaged in a standard Blu-ray case.

The Final Analysis

The Intouchables is a highly rewarding and touching film which did very good business in Europe but was only a modest performer at the box office in the United States. Viewers who, like me, missed this wonderful film during its theatrical run now have the opportunity to rectify that oversight. You will not be disappointed.

Equipment used for this review:

Panasonic DMP-BD50 Blu-ray player
Panasonic Viera TC-P46G15 Plasma display, calibrated to THX specifications by Gregg Loewen
Yamaha HTR-5890 THX Surround Receiver
BIC Acoustech speakers
Interconnects: Monster Cable

Release Date: March 5, 2013


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#2 of 7 OFFLINE   haineshisway

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Posted March 05 2013 - 05:40 PM

It did modest business here because a bunch of idiot "critics" who should all be fired tried to say the film was racist - I think they were genuinely upset that this film has made over $300,000,000 internationally (before it ever opened here) - the Variety "reviewer" should never again be allowed to put pen to paper and it only shows how low that rag had sunk - and, of course, they are now gone save for online. The fact is, this should have been up for numerous Academy Awards - both actors should have been up and the film should have been up for foreign film. It's a wonderful movie, filled with humanity, humor, and tears, all perfectly done. Go read some of the reviews on Rotten Tomatoes - they will astonish you. This is one to purchase and treasure.

#3 of 7 OFFLINE   Reed Grele

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Posted March 05 2013 - 06:38 PM

Saw this last night and really enjoyed it. If an English language remake is done, I think either Robert De Niro or Dustin Hoffman would probably be considered for the role of Philippe. But it would be difficult to top the performance that François Cluzet gave.

#4 of 7 OFFLINE   Michael Elliott

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Posted March 05 2013 - 06:53 PM

Cluzet really does look like a younger Dustin Hoffman so he was my idea of someone that would appear in the remake. Ebert was another that attacked the film for being racist but I agree this was a pretty stupid thing. I personally didn't see it as such and I agree that it should have gotten a lot more attention at the Oscars. I thought the film was much better than AMOUR.

#5 of 7 OFFLINE   haineshisway

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Posted March 06 2013 - 06:57 AM

Cluzet really does look like a younger Dustin Hoffman so he was my idea of someone that would appear in the remake. Ebert was another that attacked the film for being racist but I agree this was a pretty stupid thing. I personally didn't see it as such and I agree that it should have gotten a lot more attention at the Oscars. I thought the film was much better than AMOUR.

While he may have a resemblance to Hoffman, I don't think Hoffman would be anywhere near as good as Cluzet, who is also a good fifteen years younger than Hoffman.

#6 of 7 OFFLINE   Michael Elliott

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Posted March 06 2013 - 07:23 AM

Hoffman's one of the greatest actors of all time so I'm sure he could do something with the role. The age is certainly an issue but I'm guessing Hollywood magic could bring him down a decade. I'd like to hear from the American company on their plans. I know they bought the film expecting it to become a huge hit. $10 still good for a foreign movie but it just seems like they were wanting more so that's why I'm curious if the extra cash will come from a remake. But yeah, it's going to take A LOT for anything to come close to this film.

#7 of 7 OFFLINE   Dave Upton

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Posted March 06 2013 - 01:11 PM

Originally Posted by haineshisway 

It did modest business here because a bunch of idiot "critics" who should all be fired tried to say the film was racist - I think they were genuinely upset that this film has made over $300,000,000 internationally (before it ever opened here) - the Variety "reviewer" should never again be allowed to put pen to paper and it only shows how low that rag had sunk - and, of course, they are now gone save for online.

The fact is, this should have been up for numerous Academy Awards - both actors should have been up and the film should have been up for foreign film. It's a wonderful movie, filled with humanity, humor, and tears, all perfectly done. Go read some of the reviews on Rotten Tomatoes - they will astonish you.

This is one to purchase and treasure.

Very well said. I was blown away by this film. I really can't believe how poorly it was treated at the Oscars this year. In my opinion, the performances from the two gentlemen in the lead roles were both outstanding.







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