Friday, April 26, 2013

W is for Weekend


UK, 2011
Running Length: 97 minutes
Cast: Tom Cullen, Chris New, Laura Freeman, Vauxhall Jermaine
Director:  Andrew Haigh
Screenplay: Andrew Haigh
Cinematography: Urzula Pontikos

Weekend is a rare thing: a movie romance that feels like a real life romance, with all the awkwardness and weirdness left intact.  Russell is out, but doesn’t like to talk about it with his largely straight friends.  After an evening with them, he heads to a club and eventually goes home with the object of his desire.

The morning after could have played out the same way most of these awkward one night stand mornings do, but when Glen whips out a voice recorder, and asks Russell to recount the evening in his own words, things skew into new territory.  Ostensibly an art project, the dialogue kick starts a long, free form conversation that grows increasingly intimate as the pair exchanger personal information, come-ons and ideas.

When Glen announces he’s moving to the US the next day, it creates an urgency as the pair struggle to fit an entire relationship into a weekend.

A little like Before Sunrise, this film manages to capture the organic nature of love developing, and the place sex has within that development.  The characters are well drawn and flawlessly performed by the two leads.  Both men are presented as flawed individuals with boundaries they will not cross.  Things get interesting as they get close to these self-imposed limits, and how each deals with them, is a joy to behold.

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