CANNESERIES 2021: We saw Niels Schneider as a spy during the Cold War in Totems and …

For its season 4, AlloCiné brings you the CANNESERIES festival. Today’s program: Totems, a very ambitious French spy series, the wacky black and white comedy Mister8 and Awake, a Serbian crime and fantasy series.

The competition for the fourth edition of CANNESERIES is in full swing and AlloCiné debriefs you today on three series contending for the various prizes awarded by the Jury chaired by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. First, an ambitious French production, Totems, a spy series against the backdrop of the Cold War with Niels Schneider, Vera Kolesnikova and Ana Girardot.

Also on the program: Mister8, wacky Finnish comedy about a businesswoman who juggles between seven lovers in a black and white world, and Awake, a Serbian fantasy drama following an inspector who will have to face her nightmares for the needs of her investigation and to face his past.

Totems (Competition)

Canneseries 2021: we saw niels schneider as a spy during the cold war in totems and...
Amazon Prime Video

Big budget production, Totems is an immersive and intimate spy series that plunges us into the heart of the Cold War in the 1960s. Between the dark and austere aesthetics, the costumes and the sharp sets and a breathtaking staging, this original French creation gives itself the means of its ambitions to shine internationally and highlight the know-how made in France in this competition at Canneséries.

By following the crossed portraits and the impossible romantic relationship between a French spy apprentice and a pianist obliged to collaborate with the KGB, the co-creator and screenwriter Olivier Dujols, with Juliette Soubrier, offers an impeccable thriller at human height against a backdrop of cruel and unjust pretenses while accurately portraying the society of a time when women still lacked freedom.

To embody these ordinary men and women forced to risk their lives for their countries by becoming spies in spite of themselves, Totems relies on sure values ​​of French cinema such as Niels Schneider, Ana Girardot, Lambert Wilson and José Garcia but also on promising talents like Russian actress Vera Kolesnikova, already seen in Le Bureau des Légendes, of which Olivier Dujols has also signed episodes.

Mister8 (Competition)

Canneseries 2021: we saw niels schneider as a spy during the cold war in totems and...
It’s Alive Films – Jari Salo

Finnish series in competition, Mister8 looks like a UFO that relies as much on the originality of its subject as on the singularity of its staging. In this squeaky comedy, Maria is a powerful businesswoman who has a love life regulated like music paper since the young woman has seven spouses, a different man for each day of the week, who have all signed contracts to lead this life not. commonplace with it.

The perfect balance in Maria’s life crumbles when she falls in love with Juho, an eighth suitor who will wreak havoc and try to eliminate her competitors by all means. With an offbeat and eccentric plot, which breaks gender codes and norms by making men the puppets of a strong, sensitive and solar woman, Mister8 is a very good surprise carried by its charismatic main actress Krista Kosonen and sublimated by a polished photograph and a sublime black and white.

Awake (Competition)

Canneseries 2021: we saw niels schneider as a spy during the cold war in totems and...
United Media

Police series from Serbia, Awake tells the story of Detective Sonja Kljun’s investigation in Subotica, infamous for being the Serbian capital of suicides. This city will turn the life of the young mother upside down, subject to premonitory dreams that will help her in her investigation but also in a quest for personal truth about her past.

By mixing the fantastic with a sometimes wobbly investigation, we could have hoped for some thrills but Awake suffers from sluggish visual and sound effects, from a rather slow rhythm and from a too marked Western influence despite more subtle black Balkan sequences. Still, the main actress Ivana Vukovic catches the eye and delivers a rather puzzling performance as an inspector who must face her nightmares, reflections of the traumas of Serbia, to stay awake.

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