VOD film review: Weekend (2011)
Ivan Radford | On 27, Mar 2014
Director: Andrew Haigh
Cast: Tom Cullen, Chris New
Watch Weekend online in the UK: BFI Player / Apple TV (iTunes) / Prime Video (Buy/Rent) / Rakuten TV / Google Play
Andrew Haigh’s sensitive romance sees two men meet in a nightclub and form a burgeoning bond that becomes intensely intimate over a period of just 48 hours. Russell is timid; he’s come out to his friends but doesn’t talk much about his love life. He’s the complete opposite to Glen, who not only shouts about his sexuality in a pub, but also has a go at anyone who doesn’t like it.
Their contrasting responses to society’s attitude towards homosexuality set the stage for their relationship. Tom Culllen and Chris New’s chemistry is beautiful. Struggling to voice their own feelings let alone discuss wider issues, the two newcomers naturally play off each other without straying from the subtle, nuanced script. Haigh shoots events almost as a documentary, shirking overly fancy shots to snuggle into scenes as his couple negotiate their way through the awkward discoveries of a new affair. Every note rings true, from Russell’s embarrassed dissection of their first meeting, speaking into Glen’s dictaphone, to the tender, but frank, bedroom scenes that are withheld until later in the relationship.
It’s a simple account of a fledgling bond, made more immediate by the film’s complete lack of music. Weekend is full of the raw mundanity of everyday life but is tinged with a hopeful optimism that really moves. Think Before Sunrise, but in Nottingham – a superb slice of contemporary cinema.
Weekend (2011) is available now on BFI Player, as part of a £4.99 monthly subscription.