A measured yet powerfully personal film from French writer-director duo Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano (The Intouchables)
Based on remarkable true events and featuring a cast of industry veterans and newcomers alike, The Extraordinary follows the challenges and triumphs of two men working outside the system to support young people with autism. Bruno (Vincent Cassel) and Malik (Reda Kateb) lead their respective organisations with humour and a healthy dose of tough-love for their trainee-carers while they juggle never-ending workloads. Despite pushback from the authorities, they remain committed to caring for the profoundly autistic individuals that state care has deemed “too complex”.
Writer-directors Nakache and Toledano spent years observing Bruno and Malik’s real-life counterparts, and the result is a beautifully dignified and authentic look at a world that many would look away from. Selected as the closing film at Cannes 2019, The Extraordinary effortlessly mixes reality (many of the cast members portraying autistic youth are playing versions of themselves) and fiction to great effect.
– Treise Armstrong, Film Programs Coordinator