A Good Doctor (Docteur ?) is a feel-good comedy showing at the AFFFF 2023. Michel Blanc (Kiss & Tell, AFFFF 2019) plays Dr Serge Mamou Mani, the only locum on call in Paris on Christmas Eve. He’s already skating on thin ice with complaints being made about his demeanour and concerns about his heavy drinking so he needs everything to go smoothly tonight. But of course, the universe has other plans.
An unexpected series of events lead to the kind-hearted delivery driver Malek taking on the grumpy Dr’s role for the rest of the night having only met him minutes earlier as their paths quite literally collide. Malek has no medical training apart from knowledge of CPR and the recovery position. But it is Malek, who will go into the patients’ homes, and Serge will listen in and tell him via his earpiece what needs to be done. This of course leads to some very amusing and unexpected scenarios, such as confusion of medical terms with everyday terms, telling a child to stick his hands up and then taking his temperature from his chest rather than his forehead, and many more.
The on-screen rapport between the frustrated Serge and the bubbly, joking Malek is wonderful. A good doctor was Hakim Jemili’s first film role, not that you would know from watching him. He comes from the world of stand-up and YouTube. He was impressive in the film, portraying convincingly the nervous but compassionate Malek trying to help patients without medical training. Aside from the age difference you wouldn’t know that Michel Blanc had many more years of acting under this belt.
Directed and co-written by Tristan Séguéla (with Jim Birmant), A Good Doctor also has a fantastic mainly 70s soundtrack, which happily is not full of Christmas songs considering it’s a Christmas film. Think Ashford & Simpson “Found a cure” and “Brothers on the Slide” from Cymande.
A good doctor was released in France in 2019 making it relatively old compared to the other films in this year’s AFFFF program. However, we are glad that the film was included this year as there are lots of laughs, and it’s an enjoyable film to watch. A good doctor is a wonderful comedy with a lot of heart.
Matilda Marseillaise was a guest of Alliance Française French Film Festival
To find out when A Good Doctor is screening in your city, click this link: https://www.affrenchfilmfestival.org/film/a-good-doctor
KEY INFO FOR AFFFF 2023
WHAT: Alliance Française French Film Festival 2023 (AFFFF 2023) – the 34th edition of the largest celebration of French film outside of France!
WHERE & WHEN:
Sydney, NSW: 7th March to 5th April – Palace Central, Palace Verona, Palace Norton St, Chauvel Cinema, Hayden Orpheum Cremorne
Melbourne, VIC: 8th March to 5th April – Palace Cinema Como, Palace Balwyn, Palace Brighton Bay, Palace Westgarth, The Astor Theatre, The Kino, Pentridge Cinema
Perth, WA: 8th March to 5th April – Luna Leederville, Luna on SX, Windsor Cinema, Palace Raine Square, Camelot Outdoor Cinema
Canberra, ACT: 9th March to 5th April – Palace Electric Cinema
Hobart, TAS: 9th to 19th March – State Cinema
Brisbane, QLD: 15th March to 12th April – Palace James Street, Palace Barracks
Byron Bay, NSW: 16th March to 5th April – Palace Byron Bay
Adelaide, SA: 23rd March to 19th April – Palace Nova Eastend Cinemas, Palace Nova Prospect Cinemas
Port Pirie, Renmark, Whyalla, Mount Gambier: 24th March to 26th March – Northern Festival, Chaffey Theatre, Middleback Arts Centre, Sir Robert Helpmann Theatre
Gold Coast, QLD: 29th March to 16th April – Dendy Southport
Parramatta, NSW: 29th March to 2nd April – Riverside Theatre Parramatta
Victor Harbour, SA: 3rd and 10th April – Victa Cinema
Bendigo, VIC: 21st to 23rd April – Star Cinema
HOW: The full program of 39 films can be viewed at the official Alliance Française French Film Festival 2023 website via this link: https://www.affrenchfilmfestival.org/
HOW MUCH: Ticket prices vary between cities and there are also discounted festival passes available if you want to see several films. (NB You will need to pick the films and sessions when purchasing the pass)
See below for more AFFFF content
Our picks from the Alliance Française French Film Festival 2023 program
Alliance Française French Film Festival 2023 first 15 films announced
Country Cabaret: a fun farm film to see at AFFFF 2023
Final Cut: a comedic zombie film that’s even for people who don’t like horror or gore
Happy 50/Plancha is about a group vacation gone wrong
Jack Mimoun and the Secrets of Val Verde is a fun adventure
In On the wandering paths, Jean Dujardin takes the path less travelled
Paris Memories traces the difficulties of being a survivor of the Paris terrorist attacks
Ride Above is an inspiring, but predictable, film about finding the courage to ride again
Sugar and Stars: an inspiring tale about the road to sweet success
Silver Rockers: a film inspired by the story of rocker retirees from Normandy
The Colours of Fire: an heiress seeks revenge
The Origin of Evil is a must-see film this AFFFF
Which films won at the César 2023 and where you can watch them
To discover other events with French and francophone links happening in your city, check out our What’s on in April article.