Film review: Le Week-End

Le Week-End, starring Jim Broadbent, is released on DVD on 10 February.

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Film review: Le Week-End

 Three reasons to see Le Week-End:

1. For some stark reality. An imperfect couple, Nick (Jim Broadbent) and Meg (Lindsay Duncan), take a weekend break in Paris an attempt to rekindle their relationship as empty-nest adults. From their monotonous marital habits – such as fussing over tiny details to find the perfect restaurant – to the turbulent struggles each party face to find their place within the marriage – including drunken public speeches and sexual power plays – nothing in this film is glamorised or rose-tinted. Even the streets of Paris are charmingly grubby and real; no glittery Sex And The City berets to be found here.

2. To see stereotypes reversed. Meg feels she deserves more from life; her marriage, her career, her kids. She wants to recapture her youth and often acts resentfully towards Nick, prodding and poking him, using his desire for intimacy and his open dependency on her to wield control and feel better about herself. She frequently hints at leaving and makes sure he knows she could be unfaithful if she chose to. It’s interesting to see the stereotypical middle-aged marital dynamic reversed here, with Duncan taking the overbearing, alpha role and Broadbent giving a heartbreaking performance as the dependent, loving husband.

3. To ponder the future, and the past. As we get to know the ins and outs of their relationship, we see how lost the couple are in life, together and separately, but also how in love they are and always have been. They hold onto their memories and long to make new, exciting ones for themselves now their children have grown up. It’s an insight for younger viewers into the new challenges couples face once children have flown the nest, and reassurance for those who are experiencing it now that they aren’t the only ones.

 

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