Sunday, 19 August 2018

Everyone falls in love in Paris... right?

REMEMBER your honeymoon? Or at least your first holiday together as a couple? Would you, 30 years on, risk going back to the same place, even the same hotel?

Film: Le Weekend

Certificate: (15)

Director: Roger Michell

Starring: Jim Broadbent, Lindsay Duncan, Jeff Goldblum

REMEMBER your honeymoon? Or at least your first holiday together as a couple?

Would you, 30 years on, risk going back to the same place, even the same hotel? Le Weekend is an exploration of what happens to a couple in their sixties who do just that. As you might expect, it’s not exactly a rip-roaring, laugh-a-minute kind of mini-break.

Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan play Nick and Meg whose marriage has gone slightly adrift — they have left behind their humdrum life in Birmingham and come to Paris to put some oomph back into their relationship.

Nick, a college lecturer, is full of self-doubt, and looks back on his career wondering if he could have made something more interesting of himself. Meg, meanwhile, is struggling with empty nest syndrome and secretly wondering how much she really needs (or wants) to hang on to the marriage.

The plot takes a turn when they bump into one of Nick’s ex-students, a writer played by Jeff Goldblum, who invites them to a party.

The script is written by Hanif Kureishi, who collaborates for the third time with director Roger Michell. Their last film together, Venus, in 2006, saw a wobbly and ancient Peter O’Toole struggle with his infatuation with a 16-year-old girl. It was one of those quiet, subtle, witty English films with a razor-sharp screenplay and brilliant characterisation that stayed with you for months. Le Weekend is being spoken of by top critics as the pair’s best collaboration yet, and there is already talk of Lindsay Duncan being on the awards lists.

Le Weekend opens at the Regal this weekend. I won’t be going to see it. After decades of avoiding stories with characters over the age of 25 Hollywood is now pumping them out and they can be, frankly, a bit navel-gazey. I’m going to see Irvine Welsh’s Filth. It’s apparently disgusting, but at least it’s got young people in it.

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