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Conference Proceeding

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'Les Intouchables' by Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache was an extremely popular 2011 French film. Based on a true story, it relates the unexpected friendship of two 'untouchable' members of society: one minority criminal from the housing projects and one handicapped aristocrat. Touting such values as tolerance, respect and determination, the film melted the hearts of millions both in France and overseas to become the second most viewed French film of all time.

The present study will undertake a feminist critique of this film based on its portrayal of women. Pursuing the first variety of feminist criticism outlined by Elaine Showalter in her 'Toward a Feministic Poetics,' we 'probe[...] the ideological assumptions' of the film, analyzing 'the images and stereotypes of women.' Ultimately, we conclude that the film's female characters represent semiotic signs of weakness, overindulgence, and facetiousness. Together, they construct a negative portrait of womanhood


Paper presented at the Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association (PAMLA) meeting, San Diego, CA, November 2013.