Weekend - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Weekend Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ March 18, 2013
The film is very one dimensional, but looking back, it was quite beautiful in its simplicity. The chemistry is great, and the acting is excellent. Everything is visceral, real, intense, natural, and intimate. Nothing is forced and nothing is feigned. It's artistic in its minimalist style as well, and definitely worth seeing again.
Super Reviewer
½ January 1, 2013
I've heard that "Weekend" is an honest portrayal of a homosexual hookup - I'll have to take the "experts" word for it, having never encountered one myself, however I will say that in regards to ANY relationship this film is indeed an honest portrayal of that mystery of first encounter.

As the crisp dialog of writer director Andrew Haigh so succinctly puts it, "that first meeting is like a blank page, and you write on it with how you want to be perceived". Yep, there's plenty of truth in that statement, regardless of your sexual orientation, and indeed, the writing here is solid throughout, as are the performances of what essentially becomes a two person play with peripheral characters added. Both Tom Cullen and Chris New are so very natural in their performances as two gay men who hook up in a bar one night, spend much of the next morning talking deep topics, and then decide to meet again that night. Much is conveyed in this one weekend and one can say that one life was changed and with the second... well, there's always hope.

While gay topics are discussed here (and a warning, there are gay "situations" shown, so if you're homophobic... well, I doubt that you'd be seeing this film to begin with (though what it has to say about human desire and that nasty four letter word "love" makes this a worthwhile view in spite of being couched in gayness).

The questions asked in the film and its almost poetic story arc are deep and sincere, and while I give Haigh the writer full marks, while Haigh the director, well, not so much in spite of creating an environment where the camera often seems to be a fly on the wall, simply a witness to what happens. Haigh nicely shoots around and through things - for example shooting between two bodies in a bar as we listen in to a conversation; or the climatic scene where the camera is behind a chain link fence (adding a feeling, not only of realism, but of the characters being, for lack of a better term: trapped). These scenes show a deft artfulness which makes the terrible editing all the more jarring. No dissolves or fades, just quick cut from scene to scene. This could be budgetary, but could just as likely have been a "creative" choice to appear "artsy" - in any event, it's jarring and plain and simple takes you right out of "being there" within the film. The same holds true for the sound track - while being uber natural, it came as a big distraction that much of the words during an important scene were buried beneath the crinkle of a candy bar wrapper. Similarly there is another scene where the script is rendered all but unintelligible by the fact that New is speaking while his face and mouth are partially buried in a pillow - making for a nice visual, but losing the import of the words is not a fair trade off.

However, Haight does an admirable job of letting you feel what Cullen is going through; an orphan who, in spite of having straight friends, feels out of step with the world around him, and oft times painfully alone. That he opens himself to New is deftly handled - and the wonder and fear of love, with all of its possibilities is on raw display and therefore a worthwhile view.
Super Reviewer
½ October 20, 2012
A brutally honest, revelatory film about two strangers and the effect they have on each other lives over a span of 48 hours. It's the most beautiful film about two strangers, I think. The two leads Tom Cullen and Chris New are superb here, and their chemistry is what works best. Whether the viewer is straight, bi, or gay, they will connect with the characters in some profound way. The film will linger after the first viewing; if you have ever met someone who has changed your life within a few days, you will relate to this film. Weekend, is sensationally acted, beautifully realized and full of honesty and mostly concerned with something one might not expect, the human heart.
Super Reviewer
½ March 16, 2012
A wonderfully honest and realistic portrayal of a sexual encounter leading to something profound and unexpected. In essence a universal story, even if centered on two gay men, and it is so easy to identify with these characters who are so three-dimensional, well constructed and complex.
Super Reviewer
January 5, 2012
Remarkably well done. Uncomfortably insightful. And surprisingly moving.

It's not often that I see a "gay themed" film that I feel is really well done and doesn't rely on stereotypes and cliches to try and make audiences feel "connected".

This (very intimate) look into a very intense (albeit) brief romance and how a few raw, honest hours can effect a person more deeply then years of the shallow inane and often insincere interactions that we have all come to accept (for the most part) as the status quo.

As good as the writing and directing are...it's the two lead actors that really make this film work. Tom Cullen (Russell) in particular, gives an amazing performance. I dare you not to fall in love with this guy.
Super Reviewer
December 4, 2011
A lifeguard who's halfway in the closet picks up a more confident artist at a gay bar, and they spend the weekend together taking drugs, having sex and discussing their deepest secrets. Very naturalistic and believable with excellent acting and dialogue; the best "queer" movie I've seen, it blends universal hman emotions with gay-specific concerns.
Bill D 2007
Super Reviewer
September 26, 2011
"Weekend" is a remarkable little film from England shot on a shoestring budget that has far more power than most movies with 100 times its budget. It tells the story of two intelligent gay men just entering middle age who meet in a club one night and have a fairly perfunctory one-night stand.

Slowly but surely in the morning, as the drunken haze departs, they realize that they really like each other. A dinner that evening confirms it. They stay up nearly all night, talking non-stop.

Actors Tom Cullen and Chris New are so real that at times you think you're watching a documentary. Anyone who has ever had a one-night stand will recognize the odd mixture of intimacy and remoteness on the morning after that Cullen and New bring to life so perfectly. It's also beautiful to watch the gradual blossoming of feelings of love.

Because of a plot detail that I won't reveal, the fledgling relationship runs into a massive challenge right away. Watching characters deal with this is captivating, especially given the fact that the script is so fine and so true to life.

Writer/director Andrew Haigh, heretofore a complete unknown, pulls off some kind of miracle and creates one of the most beautiful stories of troubled love that I really have ever seen. Gay men will be especially taken up by the story, and the film is certain to become something of a gay classic. But anyone who cares about the human heart will be moved by "Weekend."

It would be fascinating to have a roundtable discussion after a screening of "Weekend" to hear from straight men, lesbians and others about the aspects of themselves that they saw in the story. I would especially like to hear from straight men about what they felt was behind the resistance to relationships shown by Chris New's character.

"Weekend" continues the remarkable winning streak that we've had with art-house releases in 2011, especially from new filmmakers. Thank heavens for indie filmmakers; they have rescued 2011.
Super Reviewer
November 13, 2011
In "Weekend," Russell(Tom Cullen) leaves a friendly gathering on a Friday night, so he can go clubbing. At one nightspot, he gets quite inebriated, picking up Glen(Chris New) to bring home with him. The following morning, he makes the obligatory coffee to bring to Glen in bed. What Glen is more interested in doing is walking through the events of the previous night for an art project he is working on.

More erotic than passionate, "Weekend" is pretty much a two-hander, so to speak, trying to explore the different ways straights and gays are perceived and how this affects their lives. While there are some intelligent thoughts here centered around how everybody should live their lives openly, actions such as public displays of affection have to be sincere, regardless. In any case, I do believe the technical term for anybody who brags about his sex life is an asshole. For example, at first I thought Russell might be uncomfortable in his own skin but after he turns the tables on Glen, I realized he is probably just reserved and there is nothing wrong with that. For the record, I have been in a hotel alone in Portland, Oregon and was not at all miserable. And friends are a blessing but cliques are not. So maybe, the sign "Way Out" framed at the end does not mean the same thing it did in "The Prisoner."
Super Reviewer
November 9, 2011
Kind of like MY DINNER WITH ANDRE, if those guys had skipped the entree, done a lot of drugs, and shagged for days. This beautifully shot and felt film runs deeper than I had heard. Just two gay guys meeting and hanging out for a few days...it has a gentle yearning for connection...something anyone can appreciate. Lovely performances and cinematography, unexpected framing, and fascinating unspoken passages. It feels like we're hearing the unspoken last works from LOST IN TRANSLATION - - that intimate moment we've all wanted to hear.
Super Reviewer
½ September 26, 2011
Fresh, true, tiny and kind of perfect, WEEKEND is the BEFORE SUNRISE/SUNSET movie for the gay generation. A quiet and amazingly observed examination of two guys who meet and spend 48 hours in bed, in conversation and in thrall, it's one of the best things I've seen in a long time. The performances by the two guys are simply breathtaking, and the writing and direction are so assured and so simple that you may not even notice how stunning it is. It's no small achievement to capture two humans just existing in real time with each other, and more than any film I can remember, this film does just that. You don't feel like a fly on the wall - you feel like you're actually there. And your heart may break before the thing is over. But don't worry; that's what hearts are for.
Super Reviewer
March 24, 2012
An utterly raw and honest portrayal, "Weekend" explores a one-night stand that turns into 48 hours together. Over the course of the weekend, the two individuals share their emotional longings and frustrations, their thoughts on anything from relationships to gay rights, and open their hearts as they recount vignettes from their personal histories. Comparisons to "Before Sunrise" are just and deserving because "Weekend" does what the former did well in " having a naturalness and insightfulness emerging from provocative conversations and flowing chemistry between the leads. Furthermore, it shows how one can be of such an influence to another, regardless of how brief their time spent together is.
Super Reviewer
½ August 24, 2011
I'm utterly fascinated by how director Andrew Haigh takes moments of extreme catharsis and makes them feel real, like we were watching a documentary rather than a work of fiction. Its one of the few times an attempt at serious realism in film doesn't seem forced. The two central performances of Tom Cullen and Chris New shouldn't be discounted, they manage to convey two very different personality types that are extremely attracted to one another. Even their arguments are filled with a kind of explosive sexual energy. Also, my high review is probably due to the fact that this film parallels a lot of recent developments in my own life and that 'Weekend is basically the best example of modern gay life in recent memory.
Super Reviewer
September 14, 2011
This. *This* is what it's like to be gay, at least for me. Review soon.
Super Reviewer
January 8, 2013
This film is too cute... It's very unusual or just too realistic. I don't know how to describe it but it's very touching, although the conversations were extremely explicit, it revealed more chemistry between the two characters.
Super Reviewer
½ March 23, 2012
What can women say about a gay film? Well not much I guess but it was surely not much to praise. Weekend was a low-budget indie film that had its moments.A very slow film, which was not a problem, because I like these kind of slow films.The problem was that besides the dialog, not much happened here. Slow films were supposed to build up a tension, so that the last half hour would be packed with good plot twists. In this case, the story was not going anywhere. We could only see the two leads talking a lot, going out, doing drugs and having sex. The sex scenes were raw and passionate, and there were also interesting camera angles. But despite all this, the whole story fell flat, giving an unsatisfied feeling at the end. Also, the characters could have been better developed, at the end I didn't get to know them at all, despite all the dialog. Its not that it was a bad film, but not exactly a profound story, with well-developed characters in an interesting plot.
February 15, 2014
"Weekend" is a movie about Russell who will encounter Glen in Nottingham. The story is all about the relationship of the two in a week-end. I actually really like that movie, it is quiet but smartly though: the story seems simple but is going in deep conversations that made you think. Also, the characters are really interesting to follow, between Russell the discreet kind of guy looking for a simple happiness and Glen, the more extroverted but who is hiding some scars. I think the actors were really talented and give life to their characters. I also adore the direction, the camera angles were really well done, particularly how it follows the visages of the characters, giving them a full set of emotions.
½ September 8, 2012
A truly perfect depiction of those rare instances where you click with someone immediately and find yourself consumed with thoughts of them even though it may be fleeting. The subtle and realistic performances are really something to see here especially Tom Cullen who is so hopelessly sweet in this role.
There is something here for everyone - gay or straight.
½ April 6, 2012
A powerful, honest film with compellingly real characters. This is rewarding, naturalistic filmmaking - one of those instances where the audience is allowed to completely forget they're watching a film.
½ May 8, 2012
Simple and truthful. Quite possibly the most realistic whirlwind romance flick i've seen. Doesn't pull punches nor does it stay too far for what would actually happen in this situation. Graphic, but not exploitative. A little slow t get started, but honest in a way that most movies don't attempt.
April 16, 2012
Excellent indie...tender, eye opening, realistic...in other words, everything that Brokeback Mountain should have been about a gay relationship...no easy choices for the characters and no Disney endings...very well done...
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