Winter 2014 Features series
Sunday, March 30, 2014 at 4:00pm
Sunday, March 30, 2014 at 7:00pm
Directed by Roger Michell
Screenplay by Hanif Kureishi
Starring Jeff Goldblum, Jim Broadbent, and Lindsay Duncan
Rated NR ·
Numerous films of late have turned their attention to the romantic lives of older people, but many do so in an “isn’t that charming” manner that verges on the condescending. Bracing, prickly and full of passion, Le Week-end, the new film from director Roger Michell (Notting Hill, Hyde Park on Hudson), sheds the cozy comfort of retiree rom-coms for an altogether more interesting love story: the ups and downs of a romance 30 years in the making.
Meg (Lindsay Duncan, Under the Tuscan Sun) and Nick (Academy Award winner Jim Broadbent, Cloud Atlas) have been together forever. For their 30th wedding anniversary they have chosen to return to Paris, where they honeymooned. It is not long before the City of Lights begins reflecting the couple’s conflicts right back at them.
Rejecting their first, depressingly beige hotel for an impossibly expensive choice, Meg then begins rejecting her husband. (“Can I touch you?” he asks, tentatively. “What for?” she snaps.) When Meg and Nick run into their insufferably successful old friend, played with pure delight by Jeff Goldblum (The Big Chill, Jurassic Park), their squabbles rise to a register that is both emotionally rich and very funny.
By turns sharply comic and deadly serious, Le Week-end is full of surprises. The dialogue has both the heart and the crackle of Richard Linklater’s Before… series, delving deep into the tensions that shape this couple’s relationship while holding nothing back. Michell has shown us the pleasures of complicated romance before, but never has his filmmaking felt freer. From those charged scenes at the hotel, to Goldblum’s delicious intervention, to the clever nod to Jean-Luc Godard at the end, this is one of the most enjoyable love stories of the year.
“Le Week-end is a barbed, funny and poignant comedy-drama.” (Geoffrey Macnab, The Independent)
“Sophisticated, sharp and funny, Le Week-End achieves an unusual coup: it’s a film about two older characters that is neither deeply gloomy nor twinkly and cheerily upbeat.” (David Gritten, The Telegraph)
“The film is imbued with an engaging mix of warmth and prickliness by the lovely, lived-in performances of Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan.” (David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter)