Le Week-End - review
Directed by Roger Michell
Delpy, Hawke and Linklater can skip the retirement-age instalment of their Before Sunrise series, because this is it. English 60-somethings Meg (Lindsay Duncan) and Nick (Jim Broadbent) are three-decades married and off to Paris to celebrate their anniversary in this talky, acerbic comedy.
Roger Michell’s Le Week-End is not Godard’s Le Weekend, but there are nods and winks to the Frenchman’s films, both in the darling closing scene, and the punk choices that Meg and Nick make over the course of the weekend. They scrap, they fight, they do runners from restaurants, they stop to snog in the streets. It’s while they’re having a pash that Jeff Goldblum glides onto the scene as an old mentee of Nick’s who has surpassed him in fame, looks and wives, but remains an adoring disciple.
Writer Hanif Kureishi has crafted a thrilling banter-fest. Nick is a bit of a sop and Meg’s got a mouth on her, but he’s not easily put off. Her abuse makes him giggle as often as it cuts deep. (“It’s not love. It’s like being arrested!” she complains, fending off one of his advances.) When she suggests that it’s time for her to leave him and discover life beyond three decades as a wife, mum and schoolteacher, Nick must step up. The way in which he does is the measure of the man, and the film.