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the Toledano-Nakache duo changed from laughter to tears

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Paris (AFP)

They make the whole world laugh with "untouchables" and "party meanings". Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache now cry with "Unusual", with Vincent Cassel and Reda Kateb, about associations that help young people with autism.

"Maybe this film is emotionally stronger," Eric Toledano said on the sidelines of the Cannes Film Festival where the film was presented as the closing.

But that was "after what we did, with themes in our previous films, such as community, world of work, disability, exclusion, margin ideas and standards". It remains to be seen whether the public will follow.

Because, even without taking into account the extraordinary "Untouchable" boxes (19.5 million entries in France and 31.9 million abroad), these two accomplices are accustomed to filling rooms in France with overseas, to the point that they are often considered as a true ambassador of hexagonal cinema.

Seen in 55 regions, their previous film "The meaning of the party" (2017), with Jean-Pierre Bacri as the organizer of the wedding, attracted two million viewers outside France (other than 3 million in France).

In Wednesday's cinema, "Extraordinary" is the story of Bruno and Malik, one is Orthodox Jewish and single without children when the other describes himself as a devout Muslim and father of three children.

Beyond their differences, they work together to manage everyday associations dealing with autistic adolescents and train young neighborhoods to manage these very complex, sometimes violent cases.

While Bruno, played by the extraordinary Vincent Cassel, repeats in a circle: "I will find a solution" and opens a night apartment for young autists, Malik (Reda Kateb) spends part of his day riding in a van while driving. for activities.

Beyond the rule, often attracting demons, Bruno is under the influence of Social inquiry which will force him to question his role.

– Inspired by true stories –

A story inspired by real events and the work of the associations "The Silence of the Righteous" and "Relay IDF", each created by Stéphane Benhamou and Daoud Tatou.

"It's been 15-20 years we know this association, they fill gaps in the pathology of autism, especially for severe cases," Olivier Nakache said.

But there is no problem in making biopics or documentaries: they like fiction, choosing to bring together actors and non-professionals, adults and children.

"To realize these characters, we need two charismatic and powerful actors. Vincent Cassel and Reda Kateb, we have never seen them play together. They spend time with their original characters and with children," remember the two directors. .

Most of the autistic on screen also in life, such as Joseph (Benjamin Lesieur), a character who is attached to whom Bruno tries to find work, accompanies him in the morning to avoid slippage (such as drawing alarm bells on the subway, movie jokes).

For this result, Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache have screened many associations, looking for "good people". "Even severe cases are real". With the key to human adventures and sometimes complicated films where "it is necessary to adjust some children to the world that will surround them during a photo shoot".

"After spending two years in this association, I'm not sure where the standards are, where the margins are," said Eric Toledano, who likes to maintain a generous cinema.

There is a "negative model that is put forward every day, and it is real, but what works is also feasible to exist and be developed." Not only them. people in this energy, in France, who really deserve our attention ".

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