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) and Nick (Jim Broadbent) have been together forever. For their thirtieth wedding anniversary, they've chosen to return to Paris, where they honeymooned. It's not long before the city of light 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. Although they would never stoop to acting them out physically, this relationship has emotional contours the Marquis de Sade could embrace. When Meg and Nick run into their insufferably successful old friend, played with pure delight by Jeff Goldblum, their squabbles rise to a register that's 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. Director Roger Michell (Notting Hill, Hyde Park on Hudson) has shown us the pleasures of complicated romance before, but never has his filmmaking felt freer. From the charged scenes at the hotel, to Goldblum's delicious intervention, to a clever nod to Jean-Luc Godard at the end, this is one of the most enjoyable love stories we've seen all year.
"Le Week-end is a barbed, funny and poignant comedy-drama." - Geoffrey Macnab, The Independent
"Lightly played, often very funny and shot all over Paris with energy and wit, and boosted by superb, inquiring turns from Broadbent and Duncan." - Dave Calhoun, Time Out
"A finely matched Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan explore the wrinkles of marriage with humor and honesty." - David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter
Director: Roger Michell
Cast:: Jeff Goldblum, Jim Broadbent, Lindsay Duncan
Distributor: Pacific Northwest Pictures
Ratings: ON NR / BC NR / AB NR / SK NR / MB NR / QC NR / Maritmes NR
* Represents an approximate date. Please consult local listings.