Thursday, August 30, 2012


I tested out my ability to still understand spoken French with my most recent trip to the theater.

The movie stars François Cluzet as Philippe, a tetraplegic multi-millionaire, who is looking for a new caretaker. Driss (Omar Sy) is one of the men waiting to be interviewed. Waiting among experienced caretakers and trained nurses, he's woefully inexperienced, though he's not actually there for the job. He's only interesting in getting his unemployment papers signed so he can get back to his life. Philippe hires him anyway and, while there's a bit of a learning curve, as well as overcoming his discomfort in bathing another man, he becomes quite skilled at the job. Driss' brusque personality even helps Philippe to come out of his shell. The two become good friends and, of course, help each other to grow.

Yes, this is a feel-good movie about two people coming together from opposite sides of the tracks. The film clichés abound, but it is an excellent film, as well as a reminder of why we call them "feel-good." It's based on a true story and book written by Abdel Sellou on his actual experiences as a caretaker for a tetraplegic man. While I'm sure innumerable artistic liberties were taken with the film, it was well done and the acting was great. Sy even won the César Award (kind of like the French Oscar) for his role, beating out Jean Dujardin from The Artist....I'm not sure I would put his work over Dujardin's, though. A great film though, and showings should come with subtitles for those who do not speak French, I wouldn't pass it up!

Mini soundtrack:

Earth, Wind and Fire - "September"

Vivaldi's Four Seasons, Concerto No. 1

Nina Simone - "Feeling Good"

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