We star with the premise that if in a Film like LES INTOUCHABLE spinal paralysis is funny, stroke victims must be good for a laugh though, to give them credit, they do show recovering patient Fabrice Luchini a ward filled with grim fellow victims on respirators unable to move in their beds.
Derived from the non fiction book "J'étais un homme pressé" by Christian Streiff former CEO of Airbus and PSA Peugeot-Citroen, this one shows the rich Luchini character as a hard serving executive who intimidates all. It takes all the Luchini charm to make this guy acceptable.
He collapses on the way to work and we get into the story where, still in denial, Luchini is made to realise that he has lost his control of language, this with a major address to an executive meeting in Geneva coming up - jokes like him greeting people by saying goodbye and other malapropisms that must have given the sub-titlers nighmares. His ordering a turd from an unfazed waiter at the cafe defeats them.
He recruits hospital speech therapist Leïla Bekhti full time and starts to develop drills to restore his lost vocabulary and memory of the lay out of his district. Bored with the kids' picture books she uses he switches to the Jardin des Plantes menagerie and it's real animals.
Drone shot downwards on a speeding express train and we get a King's Speech scene in Geneva which he aces bit is still shown the door.
At which point the film starts again as Luchini settles in to sort out the relationship with his daughter (that doesn't go too well) and Béhkti, before his European hiking tour accompanied by his faithful dog - much stamping of his passport and alpine scenics. The scene setting is particularly deft in this one.
The central performance is superior but when they've set up support players so well it's unsatisfying to not find their stories given an
Lush feel good European movie of the kind that plays well in English speaking country art theaters.
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