LE WEEK-END

★★★★

PUTTING LOVE ON THE LINE

THEATRICAL REVIEW
By Jess Fenton
17th February 2014

Many a film has been made about the struggles of marriage, especially when time (and lots of it) is the problem. Usually a place, a person or an event is the catalyst for our seemingly happy couple’s downfall, but in the case of ‘Le Week-End’ it’s all three and yet none of them at the same time.

Our couple Meg (Lindsay Duncan) and Nick (Jim Broadbent) are celebrating their anniversary in Paris, the site of their honeymoon all those years ago. In what should have been a romantic gesture, Nick booked the same hotel they stayed in on their honeymoon. Repelled by the idea of staying somewhere so small and ugly, Meg quickly hightails it out of there and into a cab, stopping at the first luxury hotel she spots, much to the horror of Nick. Over the weekend, Meg and Nick’s relationship ebbs and flows between bliss and harmony, to disgust and resignation, over and over again. We're never quite sure whether this trip is to rekindle or finally let go of their marriage. The climax comes one night at an old friend Morgan’s (Jeff Goldblum) house for dinner. Morgan is irritatingly successful and happy, joyfully living the Parisian life, hilariously unaware of the plights of not only his own life but also those around him.

WATCH: 'LE WEEK-END'

Duncan and Broadbent are golden and deliver pure delight on screen, guided by ‘Notting Hill’ director Roger Michell. All three’s incomparable talent really shine during the in-between moments, when we really see the heart and soul of a character and reveal the shadows of their past selves. It’s these ghosts that haunt this film so spectacularly, as wisps of melancholy and passion infuse their internal dilemmas with each action. Jeff Goldblum once again effervescently continues to do what has been working so well for him these last few years - that is to play the kooky, eccentric yet fun friend you want nothing more than to hate, but just can’t seem to do because he’s just so darn cute and naïve.

Sweet, intelligent, heartbreaking and gloriously funny with two star performances by veterans and masters in their field, ‘Le Week-End’ is très magnifique.

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