Country doctor: Thomas Lilti’s diagnosis

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The review of the director’s film of Hippocrates and First year, on the occasion of the rebroadcast on France 2 of Médecin de campagne.

Jean-Pierre Werner exercises his profession of country doctor with the faith of the beginner. Weakened by illness, he accepts to be assisted by Nathalie Delezia, a hospital doctor with no field experience. Despite its title, Country doctor is less Balzacian than Hippocrates, the previous film by Thomas lilti. Here, no blind ambition or small arrangements. Jean-Pierre Werner is an honest man who enjoys putting a few sticks in the wheels of his colleague, like a not very bad hazing – their relationship is not the most successful.

Thomas Lilti: “The country doctor is an ordinary hero”

What interests Thomas Lilti, even more than in Hippocrates, it is the proximity with the characters, which he makes sensitive by showing the precision of their gestures and through the dialogues. “Doctors interrupt patients every twenty-two seconds, explains the hero to his colleague. The secret is to let them speak because 80% of the diagnosis is given to us by them.“This almost proverbial way of presenting things defines Jean-Pierre Werner (and, by the way, the film) better than the psychological convolutions or the lyrical flights of which the intimate French cinema is fond. We are in the concrete, in particular with the little people the doctor visits, all of them crunched from a good distance with infinite tenderness. In the center of the device: François Cluzet, an actor who is spontaneously familiar to us. If he had to prescribe a remedy, it would be him.

Country doctor with François Cluzet and Marianne Denicourt is broadcast this Sunday, September 12 at 9:10 p.m. on France 2.

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