Le Week-End (2014)
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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Critic Reviews for Le Week-End
The banter is clever, yet so candid that the audience feels a bit sheepish. We're overhearing a wholly believable private conversation; these two are most definitely not on their best behavior. No company manners here.
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.
Once the characters start explaining the sources of their unhappiness, the drama becomes less compelling, largely because their problems seem far from insurmountable.
By its ambiguous yet hopeful end, we're at one with Nick and Meg: Sometimes, you just have to dance. Somehow, you go on.
[It] lacks a solid plot or even much structure -- yet it works beautifully.
Audience Reviews for Le Week-End
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.
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.
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.
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