Impeccably written, beautifully enacted, frequently funny and charmingly photographed, Le Week-End (2013) is an absolute treat.
British director Roger Michell directed this delightful film based on the story by Hanif Kureshi (of My Beautiful Laundrette and the Buddha of Suburbia fame).
How I stumbled upon this gem I can’t recollect now but I’m glad I did.
It’s one of the many unfair tragedies of life that Le Week-End never got a wide release and grossed little at the box office!
Life – No Fun
Life is anything but fun for the vast, nameless majority for whom a new dawn yields no joy but brings forth only fresh pain (job issues, money problems, children trouble, marital infidelity, health crises etc).
Le Week-End, as the title suggests, is about a weekend trip.
What we see is a weary, frequently bickering, long-married couple, Nick (the Oscar winning Jim Broadbent) and Meg Burrows (Lindsay Duncan) from Birmingham.
Yearning for the happier times of their younger days when they spent their honeymoon in Paris, they return to the City of Light.
Alas, even in splendid Paris some things have changed. For the worse.
The hotel where they spent their honeymoon has seen better days, both inside and in its facade.
A disappointed Meg forces Nick to abandon the dump for a swank hotel and they get the ‘same suite’ that Tony Blair slept in (much to Nick’s disgust).
Over the course of the weekend, we get a glimpse into the lives of Nick and Meg. Both past and present.
Bit by bit, the layers peel off until by the time of the dinner at Nick’s old friend Morgan’s place you know more or less the essential details of the bickering couple’s life – their insecurities, ‘infidelities,’ love, sex life, disappointments, jobs, son, daughter-in-law and more.
The beauty of the film lies in the way the couple’s fairly commonplace life story is handled with great panache and subtlety.
In a movie littered with so many funny moments, one of the more comical ones was the sight of the sex-deprived Nick ambling on his knees to lick Meg’s twat.
Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan are top-notch actors and their riveting performances are the lodestone of Le Week-End.
All in all, the Le Week-End team has put out a great show.
But the joy of Le Week-End will be yours only if you can manage to tear yourself off from the pathetic bilge gushing out of Bollywood sewers.
Le-weekend is available on DVD at Netflix.