Sunday, October 13, 2013

le week-end

Gareth, Alan, Moira+I did NOT go to Paris for the weekend, but we did see Roger Mitchell’s film, Le Week-End, at the Watershed… which featured a weekend in Paris. It’s a film about a couple (Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan are superb) who are revisiting Paris for the first time since their honeymoon, 30 years ago… and it explores the ups and downs of love in later life and, in this case, what one might describe as a “sagging marriage” (although I might be prepared to argue that point).
It’s funny, it’s poignant and, by the reaction of the audience (the majority of whom could closely identify with the film’s theme), it addressed some rather familiar “challenges” of (very) long-term relationships.
I’ve just read Peter Bradshaw’s review in The Guardian – which contained the following description: Le Week-End is about an interesting subject, a subject that is the elephant in the living room – or rather the elephant on the Saga holiday, the elephant on the grey-pound world cruise, the elephant thoughtfully sucking the Werther's Original – and that is the emotional and sexual lives of old or older people, who generally don't get to appear much on movies or television. Meg and Nick are finding that as they get older, mother nature has played a cruel trick on them. As well as the persistent twinges and pains and agonies of physical decay, they find that they are still poignantly interested in life, interested enough to yearn for more, and to be therefore intensely dissatisfied with themselves and with each other as time runs out, and to find they are still sufficiently compos mentis for this to be almost intolerably painful”.
I have to say, I found it a more hopeful film than Bradshaw obviously did - although, after watching a trailer a week or so back, I wasn’t all that keen to see Le Week-End (I felt there was a danger I was going to be encouraged to dance in bars… or whatever! Perish the thought!).
In the event, I really enjoyed the film and, although it contained some rather mystifying minor plot issues, came away with a smile on my face… and Paris DID look lovely!

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