Movies: February’s French Fancy of the Month

I absolutely love Foreign Language Films. I
studied French at University and spent a lot of this time
pretending I was
studying by watching French films, so I’d like to think myself a little bit of
an expert when it comes to recommending good foreign language films. I’ve
decided to do a little monthly Film blog-post recommending a different foreign
language film each and every month for everyone’s enjoyment, going hand in hand
with my #holliewatchesmovies twitter tag. Naturally, my recommendations will be based around French language films: I don’t have anything against any other languages, and I have watched a blooming lot of Spanish language films as well as French, but I just find that French ones have that certain “je ne sais quoi.” Excuse the pun. 


I thought the safest thing to do when kicking
off this series is to introduce my absolute favourite French movie straight
into the mix. Intouchables, or Untouchable, as I believe it is called in
the UK, is nothing short of an absolute masterpiece. Based on a true story, Intouchables tells a tale of potentially the most unlikely of pairings: following
the relationship between a quadriplegic named Philippe and his carer, Driss.
Driss is, contrasting significantly with the white, upper-middle class
millionaire Philippe, a black immigrant with an unstable family history who
applied for the job as a means of fulfilling the requirements of his unemployment
benefit. For whatever reason, Philippe takes a shine to Driss and employs him
on the spot and Driss enters a world which is every bit outside of his comfort
zone and as far away from the
banlieues of Paris as he can imagine.  

The film is, in spite of it’s somewhat serious
nature, absolutely hilarious. There are times when I found myself almost crying
with laughter at well-thought out, cheese filled humour. There’s a particular
scene involving the music of Earth, Wind and Fire which really hit the spot. I don’t
really think I need to say any more, here. It also has it’s poignant and
touching side: Driss, as is to be expected, uncovers a sense of responsibility
and maturity that he had otherwise been lacking and uses his own youthfulness
to enrich Philippe’s life with love, laughter and much needed joie de vivre.  

If you haven’t seen it, then I 100% recommend
that you do so. A beautiful and enriching cinematic gift.