Bringing you honest reviews of recent releases
You’ve never seen such a dysfunctional pair of bananas.. but they’re ripe as anything.
Meg (Lindsay Duncan) and Nick (Jim Broadbent) embark on a trip to Paris, in the hopes of rejuvenating their marriage. But the weekend is about to go completely tits-up. In a very British fashion, of course..
Upon arrival at the hotel they spent their Honeymoon in, Meg stands wide-eyed in disbelief that it has been renovated. The couple proceed to check in, but their suitcases aren’t even open when she then moans about the colour of their hotel room wall. Beige. Nick approaches the hotel manager, who responds, “you want us to redecorate for you?” – but Meg has already jumped in a taxi outside.
The pair shortly moan their way into another hotel – and the weekend begins. Cue arguments, injuries, cringeworthy revelations at packed dinner tables and vulgar break-up’s as we witness one couple’s journey of emotional and sexual discovery, where only one question looms over them the entire time: is this the end?..
Le Week-end is hilarious, yet quite sad at the same time. Duncan and Broadbent display a dysfunctional couple who try work out their serious differences. Bordering on Farce, what we have are the perils of a failing marriage laced with hysterical mishaps and funny moments. I found myself laughing at things which probably shouldn’t be laughed at – mainly because they rang true. I think the funniest element overall was how honest the script was; and how it was played by these two actors was superb.
Moments where the couple were happy quickly turned strange. One scene sees Meg and Nick play-fighting in their hotel room. But when she accidentally catches him with her fingernails and he discovers blood on his neck, he demands she get her tits out. Then spends the next few seconds staring at them. What the..!? I assume the more theatrically analysing members were sat there thinking “..yeees, yes. This is a crucial action of their failing sex life which reminds us that flesh can overrule love”, or some bullshit to that effect. Personally, I sat there and thought, “I would not do this”
..true,no? Same sort of age, both blonde, both funny – sort of. Lindsay reminds me of a watered down Jo Lumley in the sense that she can deliver some fantastic one-liner’s and comedy moments. But she doesn’t quite cut ‘hilarious’. Saying that, her acting ability more than makes up for her lack of hilarity. She is an incredibly deep actress, who captures the emotion of the moment splendidly – I’m thinking she stemmed from theatre. She certainly appears the ‘on stage as Queen Elizabeth’ type.
As the film progresses, we witness a dying relationship which only seems to be held together by the couple’s common interests. The scene where they go out for dinner sees Meg make a shocking announcement to Nick – and guess what it is..
Jeff Gold-bum pops up halfway through (yes, I’m aware its Goldblum. I’m using humour) and for once he toned it down. When I saw he was part of the cast, I immediately thought, “ahh..shit. Trying to rejuvenate his career after becoming as Jurassic as those dinosaurs” – but he delivered. Swaggering his way into the picture as affluent, self-successed Morgan (a past colleague of Nick) his over-confident attitude is just brilliant. One scene sees him sit Nick down and instead of listening to what Nick has to offload, waffles on about his own life – including past career, breakdown, successful marriage, and expecting first child.. leaving Nick open-mouthed and unable to confide in him.
Instead, our loveable old codger finds solace in Morgan’s all-American son – Meg soon finds him smoking pot with the youngster and talking complete shit.
OK, so he might usually be as bland as a Rich Tea biscuit, but Jim Broadbent was just excellent in this. With him, its all in the face – although simple, all the bloke has to do is roll his eyes and raise his eyebrows and you know what he’s trying to say. The scene where he joins Morgan’s son in smoking pot is heartfelt and brutally honest. The things he comes out with are so endearing that they are hilarious! And he bursts out laughing halfway through – which I can honestly say, had me in stitches. Any of you remember a character in Neighbours in the very early 90’s named Melanie, who erupted in an extremely infectious ‘yack-yack’ laugh? He reminded me of her. (a few other audience members revelled in this also)
You’ve heard of a ‘face-off’ between people? Well Nick and Meg have a ‘marriage-off’ across a dinner table packed with guests. One scene sees the couple attend a social gathering at Morgan’s place – Morgan raises a toast to Nick and his career, which is subsequently shot down as Nick stands on ceremony and announces to everyone that he doesn’t deserve to be toasted as his life is – basically – shit. He then accuses Meg across the table of (already stunned) guests of having an affair. To which she then rises, and fires back. This scene was just brilliant – the perfect umbrella to smack in everyone’s cocktail.
The final scene is sweet. Without ruining it for potential viewers, I’ll simply say the couple (plus Morgan) make a song & dance of their situation. And its lovingly uplifting – and a jolly nice way of all three of them saying “fuck it” to their problems.
Overall, Le Week-end is great. Its hard-hitting and incredibly honest. It gives us two people and their journey – mirroring possibly many other people’s relationships out there. And perhaps the reason why it is so funny, is the fact its so honest. This is a raw portrayal of the skeleton of a relationship – and the couple sifting through the organs to try and turn that skeleton into a full-bodied – well – body.
Worth a watch – when out on rental. If you’re thinking of paying out nearly a tenner for a cinema ticket, don’t. Appreciate it from afar.