Official celebrity sites, blogs, galleries, updates. examinertv Travis Fimmel of Calvin Klein ad fame to be the lead Viking in a miniseries filming in Wicklow next week. Also Gabriel Byrne examinertv Travis Fimmel of Calvin Klein ad fame to be the lead Viking in a miniseries filming in Wicklow next week. Also Gabriel Byrne.
LIVIN’ IT UP by Stockton Briggle
This small, remarkable French film was a huge hit in France as it should be in the U.S. as well. Sleek direction, two skilled actors who know how to make every nuance count, a rich screenplay and you have two sublime hours of movie entertainment.
Based on a true story, Francois Cluzet plays a wealthy Parisian whose life is horribly altered by a hang gliding accident that leaves him paralyzed from the neck down. He needs round the clock care and is interviewing candidates for the job. Most of them are experienced nurses with so much compassion and pity that Phillipe (Cluzet) can barely stand to be in the same room with them.
In walks Driss (brilliantly played by Omar Sy) a black Muslim who is only there to get a paper signed that he applied for a job in order to collect his unemployment. He could care less about Phillipe or his condition. Just sign the papers so that he can be out of there. Phillipe tells Driss to come back tomorrow and he will have his signed paper. On his way out he steals one of Phillipe’s priceless Faberge Eggs.
Driss lives in the part of Paris that most of us don’t know. Run down ghettos where the poor and underprivileged deal in drugs and unemployment is rampant. He has a mother who is working herself to death trying to take care of his brothers and sister with no financial support from Driss who spends his days and nights on the seedy streets hanging out with other men who have as little opportunity for work as he does.
When Driss returns to Philllipe’s lavish town house the next day, he is shocked to learn that Phillipe has hired him for the job. When his mystified secretary asks why, she is told “because he has no pity.”
Driss’ irreverence and street smarts begins to change Phillipe’s life. Driss draws Phillipe out of his shell, treating him like a normal person . They tear around Paris in Philipe’s Maserati, causing the police to chase them and providing one of the funniest sequences in the movie. Phillipe’s life is completely turned up side down by the charismatic and fun loving Driss.
Watching the relationship between these two men from different sides of the world grow and deepen into a touching respect and love provides life -changing experiences for them both. This is a serious, funny, provocative and inspiring film. I know that it is summer blockbuster time with all of the major studios enticing you into their “ Spider Man” and “Dark Knight” releases and they are not to be missed. Neither is this small, but powerful and tremendously entertaining film that will remind you of why we all love the movies so very much.