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Seriously probing and yet slow and empty at the same time...
Le Week-End (2013)
A sensitive portrayal of a retiring older couple heading from England to France to celebrate their marriage. This is a quiet film, depending on the script and the acting of the two leads, as well as the American intrusion halfway through. And it doesn't hold up. It requires something extraordinary (see "L'Amour" or even "Before Sunrise") and the writing, as "normal" as it tries to be, is just another recounting of known empathies and responses.
The acting is certainly naturalistic and believable, overall. It is only when Jeff Goldblum arrives as the brash, overly self-effacing, and rather suave American that see how truly dull this British couple is. Not that Goldblum's character is admirable, exactly, but more that the main couple is so stifled it's unbelievable.
Eventually there is meant to be a kind of celebration and coming out, a breakthrough in everyone's personas (all three). The symbol for this is the famous, quirky dance (called the Madison, I hear) that we first see on a t.v. in a room, and then the characters actually "dance" this quaint number at the end. The poignancy is a giventoo given, I think, but it's there, and if you've followed the very slow development of events you'll be glad for this, at least.
So, not a great movie even though it has the tenderest and most lofty of intentions. The reference to the Madison, and the movie that made it famous, Godard's "Band of Outsiders," is a bit facetious. It forces playful seriousness on the characters, and on "Le Week-End," which has a title that should have been a clue to the striving and limitations of the final result.
Too bad. The best of it is special, but the total effect is a bit dismissible.
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