A charming feel-good French drama/comedy about an unlikely friendship, The Intouchables is maybe not the most original film ever and doesn’t dig into its premise all that deeply, but it remains irresistible thanks to the exuberant lead performances and the film’s belief in the power of human empathy and resilience.
Our trip to the cinema to see this French film with the incomparable Isabelle Huppert started off with a bit of drama: as the room went dark and the opening credits rolled in, Mum and I realised we were in a wrong cinema and instead were watching a British war film, which explained the trailer for Dunkirk. Oops. We hurried across into the right theatre and luckily our session hasn’t started yet.
The whole time I watched this bonkers surrealist fever dream of a film, my feeling was, I’ve no idea what on earth this movie is about, but I want to keep watching just to see what happens next. It’s a one-of-a-kind movie alright.
Another movie I missed out on in the cinemas despite the best intentions, Lady Chatterley is a French adaptation of an earlier version of Lady Chatterley’s Lover, a once-notorious novel by D. H. Lawrence. Pretty tame by today’s standards (you’ll find much more explicit content in your Jackie Collins novel), at the time the book was banned for its frank descriptions of sex, use of unprintable words and a central romance between a high society woman and a working class man. Though I really wanted to see the film, I raised my eyebrows at the running time, which clocks at almost three hours, but if anything this movie is a proof that a good movie can never be too long.
A delightfully zany French movie about love, dystopia… and cannibalism. It’s directed by Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet, who later made Amélie, so I kinda knew what to expect – beautifully textured and whimsical visuals, quirky and imaginative little details, eccentric characters – but even so this movie is quite out there. It’s set in some sort of post-apocalyptic future where money is obsolete and food is scarce, and centres on the apartment block with a butcher shop on the ground floor, whose owner, also the landlord, is always in need of a new superintendent. That’s because every new applicant inevitably gets chopped up and served to the other tenants, who are on to the scheme and start complaining when the meat supply stops. The latest would-be-victim is Louison, a former clown, who catches the eye of Julie, the butcher’s daughter. Determined to save him, she turns for help to the bunch of underground vegetarian freedom fighters called the Troglodytes.