Starring: Jim Broadbent, and Lindsay Duncan. Release date: March 14, 2014 (USA) Director: Roger Michell Screenplay: Hanif Kureishi
Holiday stay-cations for writers are an opportunity to
restore balance, overeat, destress, sleep late, and write watch movies on Netflix.
In a vain attempt to justify these Netflix marathons I will be publishing an erratic series of film reactions plus (where applicable) the original New York Times review to add some gravitas.
I love movies where married couples head to exotic locations for the weekend to hash out their relationship as much as anyone. I have also been a Jim Broadbent fan since the Blackadder days (the one where he plays interpreter for the Infanta is hysterical, but I digress…). So when I read the description blurb under Top Picks, I was in.
A.O. Scott of the New York Times says, “This is not a movie about the gentle aging of lovable codgers.” Too true! The main characters Nick and Meg run the gamut of feelings for one another, to their grown children, to their financial status. Revealing and honest, it is not always pretty nor kind but hey, that’s life n’est-ce pas?
What I liked about Le Weekend:
-Setting: love at every stage is just better in the City of Lights. This would’ve never went down in Detroit.
-Dialogue: brutal honesty between two people after 30 years as they navigate a spectrum of emotions: love, acceptance, avoidance, anger, and resentment all have a place in their marriage. Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan return to Paris after many years to rejuvenate their marriage. Or is it to break up?
-Characters: If you’ve been married for more than ten years, you can begin to appreciate Meg and Nick. That they are Brits seems to keep it real; we are willing to take them at face value and hear them out. This wouldn’t have worked with an American cast. They would’ve been botoxed, suntanned and Meg would have definitely scored with that French guy from the balcony. We would have called the authorities over Nick getting high with the young boy in his room. Jeff Goldblum’s character notwithstanding; his vanity was clearly New York. Sorry.
What I didn’t like about Le Weekend:
– Everyone chewing with their mouth open? Really? Manners cost nothing! I don’t need to hear how much you like your food. Paris or not…
– Jim Broadbent on all fours crawling towards Lindsay Duncan. There’s not enough brain bleach in the entire world to erase that scene from my mind.
– The ending. I know that life is not perfect with “endings” to all the world’s problems but I am American, and I need my films to have resolve. I need closure. I need these two people to ride off into the sunset. Or Montmartre.
Overall Le Weekend is a film worth watching. I did like it even if it was difficult to watch at times. If you would like to read more before heading over to Netlfix, click on the link below for Scott’s review. Enjoy!
The New York Times review of Le Weekend
Featured image: Lindsay Duncan and Jim Broadbent in “Le Week-End.” Credit Nicola Dove/Music Box Films. Used without permission for entertainment purposes only.