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- STUFF - 

It is Christmas Eve in Paris. A liverish and blunt GP is making his rounds.

Serge works for some sort of private agency that will provide house calls – for a fee – to those in need.

Over the course of the night, Serge will visit a variety of patients, all of them in need of help, company, or just a prescription. At the end of the night, Serge, who we gather has more money troubles than a soon-to-retire GP should, will have earned a small pile and got through another Christmas Eve without too much time to reflect on how and why he should be alone on this, of all nights.

Or at least, that is Serge's plan. But with the appointments piling up, the roads freezing over and the hours running down, Serge makes the questionable decision to pay a young Uber Eats rider to drop off a prescription for him. What could possibly go wrong...

Before the night is out, Serge's back will have seized up and with no other doctor available to work, he will be entirely reliant on young Malek to complete his rounds. Malek will make the visits – and Serge will listen in over the phone and make his diagnosis via Malek's earbud.

A Good Doctor is a 2019 film getting an unexpected release here in the weeks between the North American behemoths. I'm glad it's arrived.

Veteran Michel Blanc (Monsieur Hire) is terrific as the droll, vulnerable Serge – and Hakim Jemili (Les Méchants) has timing and delivery to burn as comedic foil Malek. Solène Rigot (Orpheline) shows up early as a young woman whose place in Serge's life we don't quite understand. But when her story – and Serge's – come into focus, they will add considerable poignancy to everything that has gone before.

A Good Doctor is an enjoyable and well-assembled romp. It looks wonderful, the leads and supports are all troopers and the genuine emotion that is allowed to infiltrate the script is well-deployed.

If the deluge of blockbusters at this time of year isn't your idea of an enjoyable visit to the movies, you might appreciate this one a lot.

- Graeme Tuckett, STUFF

A Good Doctor is now playing in select theatres across New Zealand!