Le Week-End (2014)
English couple, Nick (Jim Broadbent) and Meg (Lindsay Duncan) have been married 30 years and are celebrating their long-standing relationship by revisiting Paris for a long weekend for the first time since their honeymoon. Getting on in years, theirs kids are finally out of the house and they are contemplating what that means for them and their roller coaster relationship. The weekend is filled with high highs and low lows. They grapple with love, loss, regret and all the things that they didn’t have time to think about before. Ultimately they are simply looking to discover where things stand in their lives and with each other.
Light yet deeply thought-provoking, Le Week-End is one of those types of films that probably won’t ever be a mainstream success but certainly will find a home in the film art houses and in the hearts of those who appreciate such off beat film offerings.
Surprisingly or maybe not so this movie was directed by Richard Michell, who directed Notting Hill, Hyde Park on Hudson, Changing Lanes, Venus and Persuasion. On the whole he has been a fairly successful director even with the odd mix of film genres smattering his resume. This movie adds another to the mix. It is about real people dealing with real issues in the same sort of messed up way we all deal with the issues we face.
I think a good word to describe it is intimate. Not intimate in the sexual way but from an emotional stand point. I think it tries to be a version of Before Midnight in a way but probably doesn’t quite succeed. While the writing and acting are fine or better than in regards to the acting, I felt as if I never connected with Nick and Meg. I will admit that perhaps is because I can’t relate to the characters because of age and therefore what they are going through. So keeping that in mind this film might have a very specific audience in terms of understanding and true appreciation of its message. That being the over 50 empty nester bunch.
I did enjoy the quirky comic undertones that kept the dramatic and thought provoking life moments from weighing to heavily. Duncan carries most of them through with such class and style that you can’t help but love her. I particularly enjoyed the end to the film. Honestly I don’t see what it had to do with the overall movie but it was fun and sweet. It made me smile and warmed my heart. Not bad for the end of what was a times a bumpy ride.
All in all Le Week-End is a roller coaster ride of a film that is sometimes delightful, sometimes confusing but when put all together makes for a fairly enjoyable ride.
7/10 – Not for everyone but will be enjoyed greatly be a specific audience at a specific time in life!
I’m totally in agreement with my wife here (except her rating). If any of you are familiar with the Before [Sunrise, Sunset, and Midnight] movies, than Le Week-end tries to be Before [insert any term for end of life here]. From beginning to end, this movie is about an older married couple on vacation to Paris for their anniversary and you can just tell neither wants to be there. Nothing they do, say or feel seems to be happy or positive and after a while it starts to get depressing. Other characters enter the picture to try to add life to this drab mundane drama, but at the end of the day, this movie tries to tell us that longevity sometimes doesn’t equal happiness. Maybe this movie is only for the older crowds as they might be able to relate with the story, but I believe that no one under 45 will really find this entertaining. I guess I haven’t experienced life enough to appreciate the journey these characters have gone on, and I’m not sure I want to know. Can’t recommend this one…
5/10 Stars – Even with the life messages it tries to teach, it’s depressing and sad to the point no one will be entertained by this.
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