Star – Jim Broadbent
Genre – Drama
Run Time – 93 minutes
Certificate – 18
Country – UK
Oscars – Nominations
Awards – 2 Wins & 10 Nominations
Amazon – £5.54 DVD (Blue Ray £8.99)
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So, ‘Le Weekend’, from heavyweight writer/director team Roger Michell and Hanif Kureishi, the latter’s name one of those you will instantly recognize but more grandiose sounding than their actual output, best know for the TV film The Buddha of Suburbia. Michell, on the other hand, is one of those directors will only make films he really wants to and bought us the under-rated Venus, the icky The Mother and follow up with Daniel Craig in Enduring Love, but best known for Notting Hill. All are about middle-class love and romance and how age cruelly weathers us.
Le Weekend’s main themes are on having to get old gracefully and accepting you’re not young any more, and so not the ambitious bright young thing you once were. Comedy writer Howard Jacobson wrote a book about it called the ‘Finkler Question’, on that moment in your life that however much you hope and dream, this is it and there is no more. You will buy the same newspaper tomorrow, watch the same TV programs and be terrified of the world you once devoured. This right here is your routine for the rest of your life, your decaying, freighted body giving up on those hopes and dreams. Le Weekend is really interested in that moment and some, where the things that attracted you to your partner are no longer aesthetically there and so now is the true test of your love for your husband or wife, clinging on to each other for companionship because you don’t want to be alone and so scared to let go. You are both still working to pay the mortgage off but burden with debt, kids and broken dreams. There is no way out and this is your life now.
Lindsay Duncan ... Meg
Jim Broadbent ... Nick
Jeff Goldblum ... Morgan
Charlotte Léo ... Dominique Ertel ...
Intelligent and middle-class sixty something married couple Meg (Lindsay Duncan) and lecturer Nick (Jim Broadbent) are trundling off to Paris on the Eurostar to celebrate/endure their 30-year anniversary. They had their honeymoon in Paris and so looking to rekindle some of that romance that has clearly gone. Meg is a French teacher and so here on her terms. They don’t have sex anymore and the only time hubby sees his wife naked is when she leave the bathroom door open, which Meg disapprovingly closes through shame of her sagging body when she catches him looking. Their son has left home but unemployed and apathetic with the world and always asking dad for money.
The two are soon bickering in the city of love, the hotel grubby and cheap and Nick still worrying about how much the new bathroom titles are going to cost at home than making mad passionate love to his wife to rekindle the flame. Meg wants some romance and soon being frivolous and giddy, insisting they stay at an expensive hotel and eat expressive food to see if the magic is still there, which Nick has to go along with.
The credit card bill soon starts racking up and Meg drinking in the magic of the city. They try to relax by being a little bit silly but their forced behavior drags up old arguments and regrets. But it’s when they bump into Nick’s old university friend Morgan (Jeff Goldblum) that the real underlying anxieties surface and at a tense dinner party all the tensions come flooding out as the charismatic American reminds Meg what an inspirational guy and thinker Nick used to be.
Sometimes a poor Imdb rating is a sign the film is too smart and clever for the people who use Imdb, definitely the case here. It’s better than 6.3 let me tell you. This is very much a melancholic comedy aimed at a certain cantankerous middle-class audience of a certain age. If they chose to endure it they can, and will see some of their own life in Le Weekend. One of those very people this is aimed at - a critic - actually pointed out the grammar was in correct for the title. It’s a film that really drags up and explores the Finkler Question.
It’s a very talky and emotionally demonstrative movie but not always through words. A bitter look from Duncan or the slumped shoulders from Jim Broadbent can tell their own story. For a film about older people it’s refreshingly not about dementia or cancer diagnosis and the jeopardy is the ending of the marriage, not death, for once. Should they simply stay together because they are too scared and too past it to go their own way now the love is dying? Marriage was for life but not no more, all ages getting divorced now.
The writing is intelligent and poignant as it is funny and biting, Le Weekend not a film for anyone under 30. It’s bleak as it is honest on life and age and the two lead performances bring that home like a pointed stick in the eye. Jim Broadbent is one of those actors that does humor with pathos and sadness rather well. Lindsay Duncan is fabulous and just pretty and shapely enough to be sexy but old in the way Helen Mirren is and really nails what it is to be a smart woman in an emancipated middle-class marriage. She maybe as smart as him but understands the dynamics of marriage that thee must be ahead of the household. It’s quite rare in that sense that it has a powerful female in the lead willing to be subservient to maintain a marriage. Her husband is simply no where near the man he was and she played a big part in that and has to accept it, a husbands choices often made by the wife to appease her insecurities, be it subliminally.
Imdb.com – 6.3/10.0 (5.674votes)
Rottentomatos.com – 89% critic’s approval
Metacritic.com – 73% critic’s approval
Roger Michell waffles on …
Hanif & Roger do some more talking heads about the movie.
Jim and Lindsay talk about the movie and pretend their lives are nothing like the ones in the film, which they probably are.
-Behind the Scenes-
Never sure why the DVD makers think we want to see film crews filming.
Some art work filling.
The Independent –‘A loosely structured but acutely observed relationships movie with a wide streak of painful comedy’.
Daily Telegraph –‘This is a beautifully executed, fearlessly truthful and droll film on the emotional politics of reinvention’.
Sight & Sound –‘It proves again that films made for grown-ups can be more nimble-footed and fresh-faced than anything aimed at the youth market’.
Chicago Reader –‘Once the characters start explaining the sources of their unhappiness, the drama becomes less compelling, largely because their problems seem far from insurmountable’.
The Film Stage –‘The film hits the mark on couples struggling to find that balance between individuality and union with Broadbent and Duncan providing pitch-perfect performances’.
The Mail –‘Although the film is profound and moving indeed, one does wonder how a viewer of a certain age might respond to it’.
The Radio times –‘Despite its rough turns and bumpy exposition, Le Week-End is absolutely a trip worth taking, full of moving moments and well-earned laughs’.
The Times –‘All of this elevates Le Week-End to the level of intelligent film without sacrificing humor, bite, and beauty, all of which it has in scads.
As far as cinemas go this is a modern well established cinema, it is situated next to a Frankie & Bennys, KFC & MacDonalds so you have no worries if you fancy a bite to eat after. There is also a bowling alley next to it so you could spend most of the day around it. There is plenty of parking spaces and the cinema is easily accessed from the A444.
The entrance lobby is spacious with the paying kiosks to your left and also self service machines.
You have the option of 2 seats there are some more luxury bigger seat near the front which you can pay a bit extra for, but to be honest the standard seats are perfectly fine!
The food is overpriced but nice, they sell popcorn (obviously) icecream crisps etc. But I tend to take my own in my bag!
The picture and sound quality in the cinema is amazing and I would say it is better than other cinemas I have been to.
The toilets are ok but I have been in a few times when they could do with a bit of a clean!
In general it is a very good cinema it only got built approx 10 - 15 years ago, they have a cheaper night on a Tuesday which we tend to go on that day as it is getting very expensive now a days to go to the cinema!
This review is being written due to the wonderful service myself, my children and her friends have received today.
Today was special as it was my daughters 8th birthday party, well celebrations anyway, I decided after last years exhausting birthday party that this year I would make things easier on myself by taking Kaitlin and her friends to the pictures then to McDonalds afterwards.
Our nearest cinema is the Odeon, this situated in Nuneaton and is literally 5minutes up the road for us.
This cinema complex houses 8 screens, at present most of these are being taken up with showings of "Harry Potter and the half blood prince", the others a combination of new and what we came to watch "Kids club films"
Firstly I will explain about the prices, I have never been someone who is an avid cinema go-er, well not since having the kids anyway, but after the couple of times I have visited before I was struck dumb by how much it costs to view the film itself, let alone purchase food and drinks to accompany the experience.
Adults and children's tickets are not much difference in price around £5.80 for adults and around £5.20 for kids,
There are subsidies for senior citizens, but again by pence rather than pounds.
To add insult to injury if you wish to purchase a luxury ticket, this in layman's terms means you get a seat with more leg room and a slightly more soft seat, these will set you back £6.80 with an added £1.00 charge if you book your ticket in advance, this was what I had to pay to see Harry Potter the other night, scandalous.....ok, rant over now onto why I wanted to write a positive review on them!
As mentioned earlier there is a kids club feature that runs every weekend, and also for a few days a week.
This in a nut shell is where they show films that have been on previously, taken off after running there course then shown again, once a day at 11.30 and on pre-stated days for the price of £2.50, this is not the only clincher, you can also have one adult per paying child admitted for free, this is of course the thing I decided to take my kids to, for Kaitlins birthday treat.
After first actually going there and checking that it would be running on the day I was to take Kaitlin and friends, then getting a printed flyer to pick the film, in this case "Beverly Hills Chihuahua", and checking again with another attendant, I was advised to come in the Saturday before to pre book the tickets....this is where the initial problem occurred!
Due to a flyer (the one I had!), being printed wrong, the afore mentioned film (the one we were coming to watch!), had been taken off and replaced by Advanced showings of "The proposal" (Sandra Bullock film), so of course when I went in to book the tickets they had no intention of being able to sell me tickets and I had an impending bill of around £50 (full price for 8 kids) instead of £20 (how much it eventually cost me for said 8 kids!).
After much talking and much arm gesturing (yes that was done by me!), we came to the conclusion that this was a fault on there side, so the manager disappears to see what he can do to make up for the mistake.
So after 10 minutes the wonderful man ( I wish I could remember his name!), returned with a once in a lifetime offer for me and the rest of the party, to make up for the fact that the kids were coming to watch this particular film and faced with the chance they might not get to, he had arranged with the projectionist to have a private screening just for us, bearing in mind it only cost me £20 for the entire party......blown away was not the word!
We are advised to arrive dead on time due to the fact they are showing our film inbetween two showings of Harry and gang, we arrive early and instead of having to wait until 11.30, the pre arranged time we got started 10 minutes early.
The staff were fully aware of our impending arrival, we were sorted out straight away, this entailed paying for the tickets, rescuing the only two boys at my daughters party, (they had discovered the area with all the arcade and grabber machines, they were literally screaming when we dragged them out!), and taken through to the admission area, this is effectively the area just past the ticket collectors and just in front of the food and drink bar, this is again extortionate prices but at this point I don't care!
Food available includes popcorn, hotdogs, bagged sweets, bagged crisps, there are also a selection of fizzy drinks. At first glance they do seem very pricy, but after ordering a "small" Pepsi Max for £2.50, I was handed a pint sized cup, so maybe not so bad after all, I could have done with a drink half the size though, as after drinking half of it I had to keep dashing to the little girls room!
Thankfully we were whizzed past the pick and mix area, which is a designated area with a selection of what I first assumed to be hundreds of sweets...actually it's more like around fifty but they are repeated again in the second and third units, this gives you more room to peruse and means you are less likely to fall over some over zealous child trying to get his strawberry shoelaces before the film starts!
This is actually not to extortionate, but it is still more than you would spend in a supermarket.
The room we were shown to (screen 5), was clean, spacious and cool, fabulous due to the stormy/muggy weather we have been experiencing here for a week.
The doors were closed and the room taken of limits to other mere mortals, though I have to say I really wouldn't have minded sharing with a few others.
Just before the film began the manager came into us again to make sure we had everyone in there that was expected before starting the film, I cannot state how much I rate the staff that wok there, pleasant, helpful and with a welcoming smile, It almost cancels out the prices when you feel that welcome somewhere!
Well needless to say the kids were over the moon, and there was not a single seat in there that hadn't been sat on during the performance!
On the way out I was surprised to see how many people had suddenly arrived there, I had of course forgotten about Orange Wednesday, this (if you are not aware) is for Orange network users, you text of for a code and you get to see a film as a BOGOF offer, very good deal, unfortunately I don't really rate the Orange network so am with O2! Lol!
I cannot rate this place highly enough, I suppose I should mark them down for the cock up with the printed leaflets, but they are actually changed weekly and due to me not visiting in the three weeks prior I suppose I should shoulder some responsibility!
A few more things I should mention are these -
Every screen has disabled access including an infra-red hearing system, there is even an induction loop system in all the retail areas.
Alongside the four able bodied toilets there are also two disabled toilets too.
There the facilities for business' to hold conferences there also, the room is stated to hold up to 50 delegates.
Unlike some of the bigger cinemas this doesn't have a "Newbie" facility, this is where parents with newborn children can go and view a film without the worry of keeping there baby quiet....why? My kids are far from being babies and I have no chance, let alone with a newborn, not really sure of the point of this feature but hey ho, who am I to judge!
Alongside the Kids club mentioned earlier, there is also a Senior screen, there is again a subsidy, charging only £3.20 for the viewing of a selected film, at the moment it's young Victoria, you also get a hot drink and a biscuit.
Price list -
Adults - £6.80, Under 15's - £5.20, Students - £5.20, Seniors - £5.20, there are of course variations on prices, booking methods and gift certificates available,
for more information visit - http://www.odeon.co.uk/fanatic/film_times/s114/nuneaton/
Film line - 0871 2244007
St Davids way
This particular cinema is situated 2.5 miles from junction 3 off M6 motorway, being on the A444 Nuneaton to Coventry road.
There are 500 car park spaces available and I have yet to struggle to park.
Within the area, like many other "out of town/city" cinemas, there is an array of eateries and entertainment areas, these include Frankie and Benny's, KFC, McDonalds and a bowling alley. I don't know whether it is just us or everywhere has a twisted sense of humour but also included in the list of amenities is a huge gym, you can actually stand with a drink and a cigarette outside the Lakeside bowling alley and watch the "fitties!" running on their machines!
Thanks very much for the read and congratulations if you made it to the end!