One of the biggest international hits of all-time overcomes the language barrier on Netflix

the intouchables

One of the many benefits of the streaming age is that non-English movies and TV shows have increased exponentially in popularity on a global scale, whereas before they may have found themselves consigned to a niche audience that would have needed to actively seek them out.

When it comes to the big screen, though, a movie produced outside of the established major markets still faces a tough task in capturing the imagination of audiences outwith local borders. To highlight that point, of the 20 highest-grossing feature films in history that aren’t in English, sixteen of them hail from China, two are from Japan, and the other is Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ.

That leaves France’s The Intouchables as the odd one out, which makes it even more remarkable that the 2011 dramatic comedy managed to earn an astonishing $427 million at the box office. It’s since been remade in four different languages, including Kevin Hart and Bryan Cranston’s Stateside re-imagining The Upside, but the original remains the best.


Lupin‘s Omar Sy stars as the live-in caretaker of François Cluzet’s quadriplegic aristocrat, where they inevitably form a bond that transcends their wildly different backgrounds. It can occasionally veer into cloying melodrama, but it’s nonetheless a heartwarming tale of friendship and found family.

The Intouchables is enjoying a remarkable renaissance on Netflix this week, too, with FlixPatrol revealing that the international sensation has jumped 34 places on the most-watched list since yesterday, with subscribers around the world in the mood for having their heartstrings tugged.