“Weekend” is a very engaging and warm-hearted look at the early stages of a relationship. Although it has its focus on the two male leads, the insights here are universal and real.
It’s a low-budget film set in Nottingham, but the regional setting is incidental.
Russell (Tom Cullen) stops at a gay bar after a party and meets Glen (Chris New). They spend the night together.
The morning after, they talk about life. Russell is more thoughtful and self-effacing while Glen is quite pushy. The contrast between the two main characters is deftly written, so you get a deep sense of their different personalities and characters.
An intimate pace pulls you in, from the start. The story is set over a weekend, which compresses the events into a few brief days. There are some nice twists and turns in the plot.
Andrew Haigh has a number of credits as assistant editor on big budget films and this is his first feature film as director and writer. He is a talent to look out for, in the future.
If you are uncomfortable watching gay sex scenes, you should probably stay away, but you are missing a rare treat. There’s also casual drug taking and quite a lot of swearing.
With a Sundance award, American viewers have complained that they found the British accents quite hard to understand.
The music is understated and very beautiful. Whether at a party, club or at home, it never intrudes.
I saw this at the Notting Hill Gate Picturehouse with an audience who absolutely adored it. We were all talking about it afterwards, with great affection about a really striking and thoughtful movie.