Le Week-End review by George Hooper - Cinema Paradiso
Ever get that feeling that if you stay next to someone for any longer that you might physically attack them? Well thats what being the central couple in Le Week-end is like. Not only is this mismatched pairing constantly on the brink of saying something they might ultimately regret but they are so close to saying the right thing, the things they have always been to afraid to say and while this is portrayed through strained means it doesn't make it any less compelling.
Le Week-End follows married couple Nick (Jim Broadbent) and Meg (Lindsay Duncan), two highly cerebral educators returning to Paris, 30 years after their honeymoon there. Nick is looking to reignite their marriage as they approach retirement and Meg just wants to get through the weekend but when they run into Morgan (Jeff Goldblum), an old student of Nick's they discover the sides of each other they may never have known or had just forgotten over time.
While the weekend itself is revealing and transforming for both of them it is less so for its viewers. It's grand ideals are hidden behind psychobabble and half baked philosophies that the two recite with gleeful abandon. The concept of an original thought is lost as Le Week-End tries to be the 4th chapter in Richard Linklater's Before series without really understanding what made those films so potent and relatable.
Both Meg and Nick are so disconnected from the real world its hard to imagine them in a world away from the fake one they have created for their trip. The two even bicker with Socrates and Plato in mind, with long words and little concept of reality, an element of this film that turns the whole feature into a piece of unbelievable fiction.
Watching Broadbent and Duncan spar with each other is worth watching for but if you expect a powerful look at marriage, commitment and the concept of love then this is not the film for you. The picture has an ideal in its head but no clue of how to make it show and in the end its the little things you end up appreciating about Le Week-End, much like marriage itself.