Le Week-End (2014)

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Critic Consensus: Topped with bittersweet humor but possessing surprisingly thorny depths, Le Week-End offers a sophisticated, well-acted portrait of late-life struggles and long-term marriage.

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Movie Info

In Mr. Michell's magically buoyant and bittersweet film, Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan play a long-married couple who revisit Paris for a long weekend for the first time since their honeymoon, in hopes of rekindling their relationship-or, perhaps, to bring it to an end. Diffident, wistful Nick (Broadbent) and demanding, take-charge Meg (Duncan) careen from harmony to disharmony to resignation and back again as they take stock and grapple with love, loss, regret and, disappointment, in their own very English way. When Meg and Nick run into their insufferably successful old friend Morgan, an American academic superstar with a fancy Parisian address played with pure delight by Jeff Goldblum, their squabbles rise to a register that's both emotionally rich and very funny. (c) Music Box

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Cast

Jim Broadbent
as Nick Burrows
Lindsay Duncan
as Meg Burrows
Igor Gotesman
as Montemartre Receptionist
Olivier Audibert
as Taxi Driver
Sophie-Charlotte Husson
as Plaza Receptionist
Etienne Dalibert
as Hotel Porter
Mauricette Laurence
as Old Lady in Church
Gabriel Mailhebiau
as Chez Dumonet Waiter
Violaine Baccon
as Girl on Motorbike
D. Damien Favereau
as La Dame de Pic Maitre
Deborah Amselem
as Hotel Shop Assistant
Stéphane De Fraia
as Waiter at Morgan's Apartment
Brice Beaugier
as Robert Ertel
Charlotte Léo
as Dominique Ertel
Xavier De Guillebon
as Jean-Pierre Degremont
Marie-France Alvarez
as Victoire La Chapelle
Lee Michelsen
as Harry Rose
Denis Sebbah
as Christopher Aragües
Sébastien Siroux
as Valentin Lefevre
Nicolas Carpentier
as Plaza Security Guard
Scali Delpeyrat
as Plaza Hotel Manager
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Critic Reviews for Le Week-End

All Critics (153) | Top Critics (33)

Before long the movie -- as neatly constructed as it is -- isn't really behaving like a movie, but more like life, as it's lived by a fractious pair of empty nesters who find themselves at a crossroads.

Jan 6, 2015 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Once the characters start explaining the sources of their unhappiness, the drama becomes less compelling, largely because their problems seem far from insurmountable.

Apr 24, 2014 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

By its ambiguous yet hopeful end, we're at one with Nick and Meg: Sometimes, you just have to dance. Somehow, you go on.

Apr 10, 2014 | Rating: 3.5/4

[It] lacks a solid plot or even much structure -- yet it works beautifully.

Apr 8, 2014 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
Newsday
Top Critic

Not exactly a breezy getaway, the film visits the sites, and drops down on rougher terrain, too.

Mar 28, 2014 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

This extra-dry mix of drama and comedy is supposed to reflect the complexities of real life; but as a movie, it's so schematic and schizoid, it leaves us scratching our berets.

Mar 27, 2014 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Le Week-End

½

Relationships degrade and diminish in their returns, over a long period of time. No one knows that better than married couple Meg (Duncan) and Nick (Broadbent). Married for thirty years, in debt, anchored by a druggie son, and about to begin retirement, their marriage needs a bit of work. On vacation in Paris the pair explore the city and learn from one another what it really means to love and be loved. They are both over-the-top in love with one another, and also contemptuous of each other, in a very strange portrayal of a dysfunctional relationship. They are also very adolescent in their escapades, including hitting each other, having petty fights, and running after one another in chase more than once. They become alive in the city of light, and re-learn what it is to care for another person. Bold in its execution as well as its inception, this film is not only important for its truthfulness, but playfulness.

Spencer S.
Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

½

I feel like the flow of the movie wasn't as smooth as it should have been but the acting and the realness of these characters were enough to keep you interested and rooting for this couple to stay together.

Sunil Jawahir
Sunil Jawahir

Super Reviewer

½

For their thirtieth anniversary, Nick(Jim Broadbent) and Meg(Lindsay Duncan) travel to Paris by train. And then promptly get lost trying to find their hotel. What they do find is definitely on the anti-climactic side, especially after a long climb up the stairs. In trying to find something more suitable to their tastes, they find a hotel to their liking but there are no vacancies. Luckily for them, a suite opens up for them which will do after assurances that it has been sanitized since Tony Blair stayed there. "Le Week-end" is a thoughtful movie that nails the intricacies and bargains of any long term relationship, in this case involving two people at a crossroads in their lives who feel that life has simply passed them by.(Mortality is an important theme, especially after visitng the cemetery to look in on Nick's heroes.) Since they feel they have no future left, with Nick facing early retirement due to an insensitive statement to a student, they act recklessly like teenagers. Some of that might have to do with the lack of perspective on their own situations, exemplified in the dueling speeches that serve as the de facto emotional climax of the movie. None of which would be as successful without the right actors at the top of their respective games in the leads. Now, if only I could figure out what all the climbing and descending stairs is supposed to mean.

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

Having spent their honeymoon in Paris many years ago, married British couple Meg (Duncan) and Nick (Broadbent) return for a weekend to the French capital, hoping to reignite their relationship. In a failed attempt at a romantic gesture, Nick has booked the couple into the same hotel they stayed in during their honeymoon but Meg instantly disapproves ("It's too beige!", she complains) and insists on taking a suite in one of the city's more expensive hotels. Over the course of the weekend, the couple bicker, dredging up the past, culminating in a party at the home of American economist Morgan (Goldblum), an old Cambridge buddy of Nick's. Parisians have a longstanding reputation for a lack of hospitality towards tourists and if they have to deal with obnoxious visitors like Meg and Nick on a regular basis, it's all too understandable why. Meg and Nick are the year's most hideous onscreen couple; a pair of Little Englanders of the worst kind, self-centered and quick to blame everyone else for their problems. They've barely set foot in France before they're patronizing the locals, even going as far as committing fraud by fleeing an expensive restaurant without paying and running up a hotel bill they know they can't afford. When the hotel manager informs them of just how serious their situation is, Meg merely laughs and says something along the lines of "I'm not staying here to listen to this nonsense". I was braced for a line like "Oh you silly little garlic eaters, don't you realize we're British?". Nick is a particularly loathsome individual who feels the world is against him. He complains that his son is a bum who spends his afternoons watching TV; but when your parents are petty criminals with no respect for anyone else, how do you expect to turn out? A teacher at a polytechnic, he's set to lose his job after making a racist remark to a black student. Nick spins it as a case of political correctness gone mad but if we were willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, any suspicions about his xenophobia are confirmed later when, drinking in a bar frequented by African immigrants, he exclaims "We can't do a runner from here, they'll beat us up!" That's one vote UKIP can count on then. The movie ends with the three leads recreating the dance scene from Godard's 'Band of Outsiders' but neither the film nor its horrid characters have done anything to earn such a joyous moment and this is exactly the sort of safe bourgeois film-making the Nouvelle Vague railed against. Michell may have aimed for a bittersweet comedy but the taste 'Le Week-End' leaves in your mouth is merely bitter.

The Movie Waffler
The Movie Waffler

Super Reviewer

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