And I suspect that at least some joint was real: it would take superhuman actors, to simulate so well that kind of eye ...
Weekend isn't dialogue heavy so Haigh relies on his two leads to put together strong non-verbal performances and they are u to the task. While this film isn't for children it isn't any more gratuitous then it needs to be. Haigh takes chances and they pay off in a powerful message of how love works in the gay community but this isn't really about gay or straight it's about two people who are probably meant to be together who are going in different directions.
One can hope that they meet again much as the duo did in Before Sunrise. This movie is visually stunning. Haigh has unique vision of what he wants the film to be and you end up trapped in the heads of the two stars. You may not be able to know exactly what they are thinking, but the viewer ends up thinking they know. This is a great movie.
For Russell (Tom Cullen) his unexpected finding of kismet in Glen (Chris New) is both real but unexplainable, à propos to real life. Russell, is gentle, quiet and brooding while Glen is outspoken, possessing Radical Faeriesque qualities. While the weekend progresses we find out the truth behind Glen's rejection of relationships. Why Russell writes down about his sexual experiences is hardly erotic but saddening, for surely making me teary-eyed. The second to final scene is heart-rending good acting and cinematography. The film does end with hope surprisingly, in which Russell finds contentment and has opened his eyes on what love can and should be.
The supporting actors (Jonathan Race, Laura Freeman, Johnny Wright & Loretto Murra) give small but strong performances in addition to Cullen and New. All in all, this film, with it's superb acting feeling more like a documentary than acting, I highly recommend this movie not only the gay world but also the straight.
Eventually as more and more gains were made in the LGBT World, the gay-themed movies began to suffer. At this point most of them tend to either troubling horror metaphors to placid soap operas to soft-core crude comedies.
Andrew Haigh's film arrived as a breath of fresh air. Both grounded in reality and unapologetically romantic, "Weekend" is an all too familiar depiction of the gay male experience.
Two young men who from vastly different backgrounds with very different life goals are already at odds with the idea of "relationship." It is hard to tell if both or one is concerned with "buying into" into the current idea of assimilation or are just not sure that monogamy makes sense within the human DNA.
The one thing that does shine through is that each of these men are lonely. Whether than can articulate it -- both have tired of meaningless sex and one-night stands. Yet, those encounters are the only ones that offer any sense of intimacy.
Born from what we perceive will be a one night stand, these two men form a romantic, erotic and intellectual connection that neither can ignore. Tom Cullen and Chris New provide amazingly quiet and realistic performances. Nothing feels false or overly emotional.
In the end we do not know where this connection will lead. That isn't important. What matters is that both of these men fully realize that a once easy solution is no longer that easy. It is a decision filled with importance.
Brilliant film that while set in the world of two gay men, still bears universal relevance. Because at the end of the day, these two gay men are not that much different from single young heterosexuals.
Welcome to Equal Rights. It is a major victory, but like all victories it comes with a price. Societal pressures are no longer working against LGBT communities as much as they are now shifting into a culturally shared expectation of marriage, children and a picket fence.