Dir: Thomas Lilti. With: Vincent Lacoste, Jacques Gamblin, Reda Kateb, Marianne Denicourt. 102 mins. Cert: 15
This oddly bloodless social-realist exercise finds French writer-director Thomas Lilti striving to redefine doctors as distinct from their superheroic small-screen equivalents; the corridors patrolled by boyish intern Thomas (Vincent Lacoste) house only report-fudging, short-staffing and shonky equipment. UK clinicians may recognise much, yet the earnest resistance to melodrama proves self-defeating: despite characterful ensemble work in the vein of Maïwenn’s Polisse, scenes of spinal taps and form-filling outnumber life-or-death resuscitations, and its dramatic pulse weakens scene-by-scene. The result may honour the daily reality of medical professionals – the finale’s a credibly fractious staff meeting – but it makes for a patchy, hesitant dispatch, more “er…” than e.r.
Hippocrates opens at London's Ciné Lumière today.