EXEC PRODS Sue Bruce Smith, Philip Knatchbull, Louisa Dent
PROD Kevin Loader
SCR Hanif Kureishi
CAM Nathalie Durand
ED Kristina Hetherington
PROD DES Emmanuelle Duplay
MUS Jeremy Sams
PROD CO Film4 / BFI / Curzon Film World / Le Bureau / Free Range Films
An overgrown cherub with an anxious expression, Jim Broadbent gets his best movie role since Mike Leigh’s Another Year in this bittersweet, funny-poignant character piece from screenwriter Hanif Kureishi and director Roger Michell (the team behind The Buddha of Suburbia, The Mother and Venus).
Broadbent is Nick, a college lecturer in the twilight of his career, who has whisked his wife Meg (the formidable Lindsay Duncan) off to Paris in a last ditch attempt to rejuvenate their marriage, and/or pin her down on her preference in kitchen tiles. His grand gesture falls flat as soon as she gets a look at the drab and dowdy room he’s booked. Instead she commandeers a taxi for an impromptu but very expensive tour of the sites, and alights at a swanky 5-star hotel where the only available room is the Presidential suite.
The Brits’ love-hate relationship with Paris (love the city, hate the French) generates plenty of laughs here, but it’s the couple’s own ambivalence—about each other, their accomplishments, their marriage, and what’s left for them in whatever time they have remaining—that makes Le Week-End a keeper. A chance encounter with an old student of Nick’s, a dismayingly successful and generous American novelist (Jeff Goldblum) who’s flaunting a sexy new wife, allows Nick’s latent dissatisfaction to come boiling over in memorably self-lacerating fashion. Piercing, personal and pungent, this could be Michell and Kureishi’s best yet.