Review: ‘Le Weekend’ (M) *** and a half

LeWeekend 2

TO celebrate their 30th anniversary, academic Nick and teacher Meg have Euro-starred to Paris.Age has taken the shine from the hotel where they spent their wedding night. A helpful taxi-driver deposits them at a very up-market alternative. Writer Hanif Kureshi and director Roger Michell have arranged a weekend of surprises for them. Paris is much more stimulating and beautiful than Birmingham!

Kureshi has lulled us into assuming that he has given Michell a comedy of errors with which to beset the pair. The hard yards begin appearing toward the film’s middle. Describing the closing sequence doesn’t spoil the film – two people sipping strong dark-brown drink in a café and doing some hard thinking. Getting there has led them to confront their weaknesses, to take risks, to blame, to praise, to consider the options for their future very intensely.

Le WeekendJim Broadbent makes a solid meal of Nick, hiding a serious secret, finding that marriage and at least one adult child can reduce that first fine careless rapture of erotic passion to a level that no amount of remembrance can restore.

Meg’s inner response to the other side of that coin mixes regret with anger. Playing her, Lindsay Duncan gives better than good value. Her long career has been mostly in TV. The camera loves her, hair slightly tousled, wearing little make-up, in close-up utterly delectable. Delivering a character of rather strong complexity, as Meg she thoroughly deserved the BAFTA Best Actress award in 2013.

At Palace Electric and Dendy

 

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