Graduation (2016)
Toni Erdmann (2016)
My Life as a Courgette (2016)
Fire at Sea (2016)
The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki (2016)
Park (2016)
Waves (2016)

SAN SEBASTIÁN 2016 Competition

email print share on facebook share on twitter share on google+

150 Milligrams: (Almost) alone in the face of danger

by 

- SAN SEBASTIÁN 2016: French actress-director Emmanuelle Bercot has opened the Basque gathering with this chronicle of a brave physician's fight to change a stubborn system

150 Milligrams: (Almost) alone in the face of danger

Based on true events that are well known in France, and on the book written by Irène Franchon herself (entitled Mediator 150 mg), 150 Milligrams [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
has been given the honour of opening the 64th edition of the San Sebastián Film Festival. Over the long and eventful history of this Spanish event, never before has a movie by a female director opened these intensive days chock full of films, events and excitement: but this task has now fallen to Paris-born Emmanuelle Bercot, who has acted in such titles as It All Starts Today, Poliss [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Maïwenn
film profile
]
and Mon Roi [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, as well as being the director of Clément, Backstage [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, On My Way [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
and Standing Tall [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Emmanuelle Bercot
film profile
]
, among others, the latter of which actually opened the Cannes Film Festival in 2015.

(The article continues below - Commercial information)Cine Iberoamericano Int

Now vying for the coveted Golden Shell in the official section, 150 Milligrams is an in-depth chronicle of the efforts made by an extremely determined and iron-willed woman to stop the pharmaceutical industry from getting rich by neglecting people's health. Irène Franchon was a lung specialist who, from a hospital out in the sticks, dared to shake up the sacrosanct French healthcare system, first of all by beginning an investigation, then by publishing a book that ended up being censored and, finally, persuading her colleagues not to prescribe a harmful medicine.

Bercot placed her trust entirely in the somewhat frenetic body language of Danish actress Sidse Babett Knudsen (in a register that is diametrically opposed to the one we saw in Courted [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
) so that she could breathe life into Franchon, but she does so in quite an irksome way. And so, as the years go by, we see how the doctor has to convince her colleagues (one of whom is played by Benoît Magimel, sporting a physique that resembles Depardieu's – a world away from his younger roles as a womaniser, and who is working with the director again after he appeared in Standing Tall) to help her as she treads the tempestuous bureaucratic path required when you wish to condemn a medicine that is meant to be good for you. The main character's personal life will inevitably suffer the knock-on effects of her struggle, but her titanic willpower will eventually prevail over adversity.

150 Milligrams is thus a film that portrays a courageous heroine of our time, who is worthy of admiration for her ethics, bravery and professionalism, just like in Steven Soderbergh's Erin Brockovich. But it does so in a somewhat mechanical and risk-averse way, complete with narcissistic, tiresome music by Martin Wheeler and a bland mise-en-scène, though it does not hold back when it comes to showing in-depth post-mortems and open-heart surgery. What results is a film with social aspirations and delusions of moral support that we get the feeling we've seen before, with a pace more suited for television and a predictable story, not to mention an excessive running time of over two hours.

150 Milligrams, featuring a screenplay penned by the director and Séverine Bosschem, is a Haut et Court production, with the involvement of France 2 Cinéma. Wild Bunch is in charge of its international sales, while Caramel Films will release it in Spanish theatres on 18 November.

(Translated from Spanish)

See also

Seneca's Day Lithuania
 

latest news

 

more news

Newsletter

Follow us on

facebook twitter rss

Home Sweet Home