The Country Doctor
30 July 2016–3 August 2016
Director: Thomas Lilti
In French with English subtitles
This gentle, good-humoured film about a doctor (François Cluzet) facing illness himself and reluctantly inducting a younger city doctor (Marianne Denicourt) into his country practice has been a great hit in France. Upholding the humane values embodied by the old-style GP, it has clearly touched a vein of nostalgia which may run just as deep in New Zealand. Co-writer and director Thomas Lilti is himself a qualified medical practitioner, and not one given to sentimentality. (Anyone who saw his film Hippocrates at this year’s French Film Festival can vouch for the refreshing sense of experience that lifted it apart from standard hospital dramas.)
Cluzet (The Intouchables) is fascinating as an immensely recognisable character, single (with an adult son in Paris), wedded to his work, tacitly empathetic beneath the brusque, brooking-no-fools demeanour. Denicourt is an excellent foil as Natalie, the doctor’s match in so many ways, but shrewdly respectful of his self-defining conviction that he is irreplaceable. It’s a view clearly shared by a lively array of farming folk who parade through his surgery, or, in some of the film’s most touching and memorable scenes, usher him, doctor’s bag in hand, into their houses.
“This perfectly formed and gently amusing French drama from doctor-turned-director Thomas Lilti is a real pleasure.” — Edinburgh International Film Festival
Times are approx. and subject to change at any time.
Box Office Open: 1 Hour Prior to first session of the day
Auditorium Doors Open: 15 Minutes prior to film (Approx)
Duration: 102 Minutes
Box Office Close: 30 Minutes after last film starts