AlloCiné brings you the 5th edition of the CANNESERIES festival. On the program of the day: the first episode of the HALO series, adapted from the cult video game, and The Lesson, a hard-hitting Israeli series that does not leave you indifferent.
The fifth season of the CANNESERIES festival got off to a great start with the presentation of the Variety Icon Award to Gillian Anderson (X-Files, Sex Education, The Crown) and the celebration of Sydney Sweeney (Euphoria, The White Lotus) honored with the Rising Star Award of Madame Figaro.
The opening night continued with the preview screening of the first episode of the long-awaited series adaptation of the HALO video game franchise, produced by Steven Spielberg.
On the Competition side, we discovered The Lesson, a punchy Israeli series dealing with fundamental societal issues, with actress Maya Landsmann, who had already caused a sensation last year in Sad City Girls.
HALO (Out of Competition)
In project since 2013, the serial adaptation of the Halo video game franchise is finally seeing the light of day today. Produced by Steven Spielberg with Amblin Television, among others, this show narrates the war in the 26th century between the United Nations Space Command and the Covenant, an alliance of several extraterrestrial species, through the story of the Spartan super soldier John-117 alias Master Chief (Pablo Schreiber), the iconic hero of video games.
If the series remains faithful to the spirit of the video game franchise and transcribes this rich universe with this struggle between humans and aliens in the background, it aspires above all to dig into universal human themes by weaving deep personal intrigues. And this bias concerns as much the different characters who will cross paths with Master Chief as the latter, in the midst of an existential crisis and rebellion against authority, as evidenced by his face uncovered without his helmet, unlike the games.
In this rather well-drawn humanist vision in a chaotic and visually impressive world, which would like to be as epic as The Mandalorian or Westworld (even in its disturbingly similar credits), Halo does not forget to be an adventure show with a gripping opening scene of great violence. Unfortunately, the soufflé falls fairly quickly afterwards, the fault of a very (too?) didactic scenario. We understand that the production wanted to address both video game fans and neophytes, but this adaptation lacks a certain spark for the moment.
The Lesson (Competition)
She ignited the pink carpet last year with the presentation of Sad City Girls, she is back in The Lesson, a new original series in competition which caused a lot of talk in Israel. In this series created by Deakla Keydar and directed by Eitan Zur (Asylum City, BeTipul, the original version of In Therapy), Maya Landsmann plays Lian, a 17-year-old student who defends her political ideas against Amir (Doron Ben-David ), a teacher in his forties, at the school.
But this school debate will quickly go beyond the confines of the establishment and turn into a societal controversy where students, parents and teachers will be at the heart of a political and media whirlwind touching on sensitive subjects. Amir and Lian are stuck in their positions and their relentlessness will have devastating consequences that will change their lives and those of their loved ones forever. Oscillating between teen series and political drama, The Lesson kicks off with a bang with incisive dialogues where Lian and Amir pass the buck at each moment.
As soon as the heated debate is over, a dangerous countdown, punctuated by the madness of social networks, is launched with an outcome that promises to be catastrophic. Israeli productions have always been able to offer punchy and topical stories that reflect painful issues in society and The Lesson is no exception. Add to that the inhabited performances of Maya Landsmann and Doron Ben-David which make this face to face as exciting as it is thrilling.