The narrative in this excellent new film by Katell Quillévéré, written by Quillévéré and Gilles Taurand, drifts from one character to another, all of whom are linked together in some way by a dying patient in a hospital and his heart. You could argue that there are three specific threads: a teenager is left brain-dead after a car accident and his parents must decide whether to donate his valuable organs; the staff at the hospital are tasked with persuading the parents and must successfully transplant, if they are allowed to proceed – an ordinary day’s work, amazingly; and a woman on a waiting list for a new heart remains hopeful despite her faltering condition. Quillévéré never settles on a lead character, following at various times incidental figures as well as those we may see as being conventionally ‘important’, and offering us brief glimpses into all of their lives: time is spent with the boy’s shell-shocked parents, as you would expect, but also with a nurse on her first day in the brain injury ward, the girlfriend of the boy injured in the accident and a couple of people who I assume are medical students, who are tasked with safely transporting organs from Lyon to Paris. The film never has to rely on any strange circumstances or chance encounters to tie all the characters together – instead we see how they all relate to one another and nothing unusual is fabricated in order to link them or bring them into the same space. There are excellent performances and some very persuasive sequences that indicate the strange state that exists between dreams and reality, which are beautifully shot by Tom Harari, and a really lovely soundtrack by Alexandre Desplat that contemplates the images and the delicate nature of the film. All-round excellent performances, too, that ensure Heal The Living is a moving, well-considered, subtle study of life, death, grief and hope. (****½)