Posted in Film Review

One Mann’s Movies Film Review: Le-Weekend (2013)

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A short review this time, as with my second daughter getting married at the end of this week, I have wedding stuff to do!

Le-Weekend is the latest from Roger Michell (Notting Hill, Hyde Park on Hudson) and is a distinctly peculiar film.   First and foremost, it is brilliantly acted, with Lindsay Duncan and Jim Broadbent as the married pair Nick and Meg in truly virtuoso performances.  They play a couple ‘celebrating’ their 30th wedding anniversary with a long weekend in Paris.   Typifying the ‘marriage in a rut’ syndrome, the pair’s time away cause all of the pent-up bickering, recriminations and suspicions to surface.   A blinding portrayal of the fact that in many marriages love and hate are never too far removed from each other.   

This premise builds, through the chance encounter with an old university chum  played splendidly by Jeff Goldblum, to a truly toe-curlingly embarrassing dinner party speech at which Nick lays bare to the audience the depths to which his life has free-fallen to.

Jim Broadbent is just fabulous.  Coming out with lines like “your vagina is a closed book to me”, he manages to build such sympathy with the audience through his role as the ever desperate and despairing Nick.  Is he Sir Jim yet?  If not, he surely should be – he is an acting national treasure.  Lindsay Duncan is also magnificent, in a role unerringly similar to the cold-hearted and aloof wife in “About Time”.  

Paris looks splendid, as it normally does in film, but whilst brilliantly acted, the film leaves you feeling somewhat down and depressed.  The lead character’s marriage is such a roller coaster of ups and downs that whilst the film appears to end at the top of a slight upwards curve, you as the viewer are left feeling that the track is bound to turn downwards again shortly.  Perhaps this is just a reflection of most people’s married lives – – in which case I feel both depressed and thankful, all at the same time.  

A good and thought-provoking film, but one worth seeing in a double bill, swiftly followed by a dose of saccharine-fuelled  Sunshine on Leith.

Fad Rating:  FFF .

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