In Cinemas Review

The Lesson Review

“Great writers steal” this line which lingers throughout the entire film and in certain ways is somewhat a thematic catalyst for this review as this line both highlights what I like about this film and what I don’t at the same time. There is this idea that within storytelling which is every story has already been told but it is what a writer brings to the table that makes it something that no one else has ever done before. That rough quote is what Anna Quindlen said concerning novels, but I feel that can be applied to film as well. We have all seen films that have similar stories and ideas, but it is what the writer and director bring to those stories that make them rise above mediocrity. The Lesson is a film that we have all seen before. A character moves in to stay with the family and everything at face value everything seems normal, but under the surface, there is a layer of darkness present. There is tension between the family members and bringing up the loss of their eldest son unleashes this boiling rage from the father.

On paper, these story ideas could be elevated to wonderous heights to make a tension-filled at times, naughty thriller. Instead, it leaves me wanting more, there are moments of sex that do not feel sexy, and there are moments where you are meant to be on the edge of my seat, but I am just comfortable. Nothing in this film felt more than basic. The only thing that stood out as being great was the acting. Richard E Grant, Daryl McCormack and Julie Delpy all do a great job and I think saved this film a lot. To be fair the film is also nicely shot, I loved the use of some of the long takes and some of the framing leads to great moments of tension near the end. I also thought the soundtrack in key moments with its very operatic and classically feel added real life to the scenes when the score was allowed to shine but I really can not get passed how disappointed I was in the story. While the latter half of the film gets let’s say more interesting, I mainly just found it mundane. Good performances cannot save a film that left me wanting more.

Written By Robert Drever

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *