Le Week-end (2014)

Wanting to rekindle their relationship, Nick and Meg Burrows, played by Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan respectively, pack their bags for Paris to relive their honeymoon 30 years previously. Instead of reopening the gates of passion, the holiday just seems to further impound the difficulties they are having at home. Nick is a failed lecturer who allows his son to walk all over him, answering his calls and placating his every need. Constantly worried about money, Nick is the result of life beating you in an arm wrestle. Meg, meanwhile, is petrified of the Autumn years that loom over her and, wanting a clean break in life, is pursuing a new career and relationship.

Despite how it may first appear, Le Week-end is a wonderfully, bittersweet romantic film. It’s not that Meg and Nick hate each other, they’ve just reached a fork in the road and each turn off looks like a dead end. They fight and break up so many times during the first act, it feels like this clash of Meg’s caustic dominance and Nick’s simpering benevolence forms a glue that keeps them together. Anyone who has been in a long enough relationship will understand how the person you love the most can be also be the one that makes you the most angry. When Jeff Goldblum, a former student of Nick’s enters the picture, he unwittingly further exposes the insecurities the couple have with themselves and each other, leading to a bleakly funny game of dinner party confessions in the film’s closing act.

Expertly directed by Roger Mitchell (Hyde Park on Hudson), a carefully worded script by Hanif Kureish and three excellent leads, Le Week-end is a joy from beginning to end.

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