Meg, a teacher, and husband Nick, a philosophy lecturer who may just be about to get the push on the eve of retirement, spend a week-end in Paris to celebrate their thirtieth anniversary. He is staid, annoying his foul-mouthed wife who wants to turn the holiday into a series of exciting new experiences, booking into a hotel that stretches their budgets and running off from a restaurant without paying. She is also averse to his touching her and what was meant to be a belated second honeymoon is a depressing affair, full of arguments - including one about the son who has recently left home to live in squalor and whom Meg does not want to return. By chance they meet an old university friend of Nick, Morgan, an American high-flyer who invites them to a party where Meg can still turn men's heads and Nick has a conversation with Morgan's young son, leading him to believe that he is not as badly off as he had presumed. Ultimately there appears to be hope for the marriage.Written by
don @ minifie-1
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 given—too 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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