Thursday, March 20, 2014

[Review] Le Week-End

Nick (Jim Broadbent) & Meg (Lindsay Duncan) are an older couple who take a vacation to Paris for the first time since their honeymoon. We get a very quick idea of where their relationship stands. There's tension and disconnect. They know one another's ins-and-outs, for better or worse. And their patience has worn thin with each other (or is it actually strong after all these years?) The two ponder whether it's possible to love and hate someone at the same time.

During a drunken, mischievous night on the town, the romance briefly rekindles. Then the film takes a slight turn when Nick runs into Morgan (Jeff Goldblum), a former student of his who is now a successful and pompous author. Morgan invites them over to his house for a dinner party. This mid-section of the story slows a bit, but is redeemed by some stellar dinner table speeches.

The script is excellent as a meditational relationship study. I guess you could sort of call it a grandparent of Richard Linklater's Before Midnight. It's full of frank and insightful lines, from the self-deprecating: "I'm amazed by how mediocre I've become", to the droll exchanges: "You make my blood boil / It's the sign of a deep connection"; "People don't change / They do... They get worse." And the more lyrical, deeper-cutting: "Think of me as falling out of a window, forever, for I am truly fucked." ...All of this amid the beautiful, and ya know, romantic backdrop of Paris.

Le Week-End is a slice of life, as it is.


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