DVD Review: Untouchable (French Cinema)

Untouchable [DVD]

Five words from the blurb: Paris, slum, quadriplegic, wealthy, adventure

I don’t normally review films on this blog, but I don’t often watch ones that are as good as this! Untouchable is funny, but moving; entertaining, but with a deeper message beneath the surface. It is made even more wonderful by the fact that it is based on a true story.

Untouchable begins in Paris with Philippe, a wealthy quadriplegic, interviewing for the position of his carer. Driss, a poor Sengalese man, is only attending the interview in order to get his benefit book stamped, but Philippe loves his attitude and hires him on the spot. The pair form an unlikely friendship, with Driss injecting fun and adventure back into Phillipe’s life.

The acting was flawless and the chemistry between the two characters was heart-warming to watch. It is rare to see male friendship investigated on screen and I think we could all learn a lot from their interactions.

I loved the way the film highlighted the problem of society looking down on disabled people, assuming they are stupid and of no value. The way it contrasted these issues with the problems faced by those living in poverty was cleverly done. It somehow managed to avoid being condescending, simply showing how important it is to make the most of what we have.

There was a lot of bad language, but it was an accurate portrayal of the people involved and never felt gratuitous. Scenes of a sexual nature wre minimal, but there was a touching love story that added an extra dimension to the emotional rollercoaster.

There were some sad moments in the film, but the majority was uplifting and I ended it with a massive grin on my face. It’s the best thing I’ve watched in ages.

Highly recommended.


Have you seen Untouchable?

Did you enjoy it as much as I did?


German Recommendations

German DVDs

I recently noticed that three of my favourite films are German.

If I was able to force people to watch one film then it would be The Lives Of Others; with the possible exception of Shrek and Jean De Florette/Manon Des Sources,  The Lives Of Others is my favourite film. It is a thought-provoking, emotional film set in Eat Berlin during the 1980s it shows how small acts of human kindness can make the world a better place. It has fantastic acting, brilliant plotting and everything else you could possibly want in a film. I highly recommend it. 

Run Lola Run is a bit like Sliding Doors in that it shows how small differences in your actions can produce several versions of events. It is fast paced, clever and amusing. I recommend it. 

Goodbye Lenin! shows how East Germany changes after the fall of the Berlin Wall. I loved the way it combined humor with serious political issues. Recommended.

Do you know any other great German films?

German Books

I tried to think of my favourite German books, but was shocked to discover that I couldn’t actually remember reading anything translated from the German. I have read lots of books set in Germany (ie WWII books) but none actually written by a German. I seem to share the German’s sense of humor, so would particularly like to read something that combines serious issues with lighter moments in a similar way to the films above.

Can you recommend any books which have been translated from the German?