A serious profession: Too clean and predictable (critic)

A serious profession: too clean and predictable (criticism)

After the hospital, school. Thomas Lilti continues his overview of public services by mixing humor and social awareness in a pleasant, but too mechanical, way.

After approaching the question of health from different angles (medical studies, hospitals, country doctors, etc.), Thomas Lilti looks at education. The universe changes but the method and ambition remain the same: it is about telling the reality of an institution through human portraits, in a tone that is both documented and light, political and feel-good. The difference is that if, before Lilti, fiction about the world of health was rare, films about school abound in French cinema. The feeling of deja vu is therefore quite strong here. Vincent Lacoste plays Benjamin, a beginner maths teacher who arrives at an “ordinary” college in the Paris suburbs (neither elitist nor difficult) and will discover the problems and joys of the job – the learning films where Vincent Lacoste struggles while learning a new profession are themselves on the verge of becoming a genre in their own right… Mixing impressionistic notations on the difficulties of teachers and snippets of their private lives, the film can be seen almost like the condensed first season of a TV series, with its story based on the school year and its very typical, well sketched, immediately endearing characters: William Lebghil as a dilettante English teacher, François Cluzet as a gruff French teacher with a tender heart… Square, very efficient, A serious job mixes lightness and gravity in a very programmatic way. The copy is so clean and predictable that it ends up feeling superficial.

By Thomas Lilti. With Vincent Lacoste, François Cluzet, Adèle Exarchopoulos… Duration 1h41. Released September 13, 2023

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