Aadapted by Call the midwife designer Heidi Thomas from 2018 Alan Bennett playset in a Yorkshire geriatric hospital unit populated by lovable eccentrics and featuring a terrific line-up of seasoned British talent (Judi Dench, Jennifer Saunders, David Bradley and Derek Jacobi star), Alleluia should be a crowd pleaser slam dunk. Sadly, Richard Eyre’s film is jarringly uneven: such a collision of tones and conflicting messages that it undermines its own serious coda in favor of the NHS.
The hospital is threatened by government officials looking for a penny. The medical staff continue to fight, fearless. But what appears to be a moving tale of a community standing against the powers that be takes a darker turn as the story unexpectedly – and rather awkwardly – veers into thriller territory.