The Lesson 2023 720p WEB-DL x264
Personally, I've long admired Alice Troughton's reliably strong direction in the various TV projects I've seen her work within & especially appreciated her unwavering skill, in noticeably crafting particularly impactful, emotionally rich moments (many of which - to her credit - have endured the test of time), borne from her impressive ability to ensure the procurement of actors consistently delivering some of their (arguably career) best performances in front of the camera (conveying nuance beautifully - without coming across as forced), under her watchful gaze on set (from 'Midnight' in 'Doctor Who' to Dominic Mitchell's 'In The Flesh' & the infamously unsettling episode of Russell T. Davies' later series 'Cucumber' etc. The guidance she gives - whatever it may theoretically be during production - always seems to culminate in the formation of something unexpectedly sincere or realistic) & therefore, upon the announcement of her first feature film, attending a screening at the cinema seemed like a no-brainer; I was intrigued. Consequently, I can thankfully breathe a sigh of relief - now I've seen 'The Lesson' - considering she delivers in every way I expected her to, here; heavily akin to David Tennant's iconic 2008 installment within the BBC's 60 year old franchise I alluded to (for which she's responsible), it basically plays out as a layered, claustrophobic, psychological thriller (led by phenomenal actors Richard E. Grant & Daryl McCormack - the latter whom deserves commendation for recently selecting projects led entirely by women, championing their voices, much to the betterment of his own flourishing filmography - again, unsurprisingly brilliant in their portrayals, elevating the material further); tense, twisting & a slow-burn, operating within the stiflingly restrictive confines of a visually striking & exasperatingly isolated fictional environment (heightening drama - so few trapped alongside one another for prolonged periods, undisturbed; alone with their harmful thoughts & brewing paranoia), utilising the themes depicted (of ambition & creativity, analysing the price paid to achieve one's potential & exploring the notion that for one to express one's self, perhaps it prevents others around an individual from doing so? Ergo, not only are a family mourning the death of a child in the story, but what he simultaneously represents; a loss of their own identity - all intertwined amongst a loving & passionate dissection of literature, ruminating over the question as to what makes a truly great piece of writing?) to playfully acknowledge its own narrative clichés (rather meta), so they may reaffirm the fact that all art is constructed from a slight form of imitation & more ironically, even in an attempted reclamation of autonomy (victims regaining a sense of control & stepping out from underneath another's shadow), the wronged succumb to the same crime as their perpetrator (to achieve that goal); they steal from their superiors. Yes, the delivery is not exactly subtle & a tad heavy handed in execution... Yet it's so unashamedly brazen in its directness (& told in an engrossing manner, from beginning to end - irrespective of the blatant messaging), I found myself deeply invested, regardless & enjoyed the conversations being had.
- Richard E. Grant
- Julie Delpy
- Daryl McCormack