TIFF 2016: ‘150 Milligrams’

Emmanuelle Bercot’s 150 Milligrams may be a medical drama about a specialist fighting for justice, but – to me – the film was about how an ensemble cast fights against dense writing and direction, and manages to come out alive.

Bercot’s latest is much more polished and involving than her August release Standing Tall – the characters are much more compelling and passionate.  Her filmmaking, however, is still terribly hard to get “in to”.  Mostly consisting of dialogue-driven procedures and medical jargon, the viewer will strain to follow the story in order to connect with the film’s main advocate Irène (played sensationally by Sidse Babett Knudsen).  They’ll soon figure out feigning interest is easier.

The actors won’t be affected by this slight misfire though. Everyone who enters the frame – even if it’s a brief appearance – manages to utilize their screen time to the fullest.  These wonderful performers know how to maintain realism to their role while also playing towards the audience.  The screenplay (written by Bercot and Séverine Bosschem adapting Irène Frachon’s memoir) comes through on only one of these tricks – I’ll let you guess which one that is.


150 Milligrams screens at TIFF on: 

Friday, September 16 at 2:45 p.m. @ Scotiabank Theatre (press and industry)

Rating: 14A
Language: French
Runtime: 128 minutes

For more information on the festival, visit the official TIFF webpage here.

Buy tickets here.

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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie

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