Although the idyllic gaze of A vet in Burgundy Too many times it leads to nerdiness, the film flows from the hand of its main character, a Parisian settled in a town in emptied France where she is forced to tend for a while all kinds of pets and animals. The debut of Julie Manoukian, daughter of the French composer André Manoukian, thus points to one of the most popular sub-genres of French cinema (A doctor in the countryside, by Thomas Lilti, already pointed to the lack of doctors in rural areas) to offer a portrait of the French countryside that flees from realism to embrace the most uncritical and friendly comedy. This time about an unfriendly and arrogant urbanite faced with a more “authentic” life.
The character played by Noémie Schmidt, a girl who has a pet rat in her apartment in the capital, graduates from university with the intention of specializing in viruses and pandemics in a Paris laboratory. The student dedicates her end-of-year reading to the Spanish flu and the threat (the film is from 2019) of a world that once again meets “the conditions for another devastating pandemic.” A professional determination without a doubt visionary, however, truncated by an urgent call from his uncle, a retired veterinarian willing to pass the witness of his trade to his niece. Cows, dogs, cats, parrots, rabbits and a fox are some of the animals that parade across the screen ready to soften the heart of the fast-paced protagonist and, incidentally, that of the impatient spectator. And if from the beginning all the characters and everything that happens on the screen are predictable, perhaps it is only because this is one of those films that unapologetically embraces all the clichés of the rural versus the urban world to vindicate a life that no doubt today takes on another meaning.