“Great writers steal” is the catchphrase of Richard E Grant’s pompous novelist in this slow-burning thriller.
That could also be the motto of screenwriter Alex MacKeith and director Alice Troughton, whose work bears more than a passing resemblance to Bong Joon-ho’s Oscar-winning Parasite and other “cuckoo in the nest” dramas.
Charismatic Daryl McCormack (also currently starring in excellent BBC drama The Woman In The Wall) plays aspiring author Liam who lands work providing Oxford admissions tuition to the son of famous writer JM Sinclair (Grant).
As he settles into the outhouse of the sprawling Sinclair estate, we begin to wonder if this polite young man is hiding a secret agenda.
There is also something slightly off with Sinclair’s haughty wife Helene (Julie Delpy) who persuades Liam to sign a non-disclosure agreement before leaving him with her troubled son Bertie (Stephen McMillan).
There are some witty lines but the plot doesn’t veer far from its well-trodden path.
The Lesson, Cert 15, In cinemas now