Feature

Le Week-End

A quick vacation exposes a marriage’s weaknesses.

Director Roger Michell
(R)

**

Le Week-End is “the kind of gentle melancholy comedy after which you leave the theater not sure quite how depressed you are supposed to feel,” said Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian (U.K.). Lindsay Duncan and Jim Broadbent play a British couple in their 60s who’ve decided to celebrate their 30th anniversary with a quick visit to Paris, only to learn a hard truth—that they are “intensely dissatisfied with themselves and each other.” Broadbent’s burdened with having to play a worrier and a bore, said Joe Morgenstern in The Wall Street Journal. But Duncan gets to be “witty, fiercely intelligent, and intensely sexy,” and she’s worth watching throughout. Unfortunately, the screenplay gives both characters speeches that play like “clumsy lectures,” and “all sorts of talent has been chucked away by the director’s heavy touch.” Worse, the screenplay turns saccharine in the final stretch, said Ben Kenigsberg inthe A.V. Club. The performances “go a long way toward making the movie seem pricklier than it turns out to be,” but they can’t overcome an ending that marks Le Week-End as a “thoroughly ordinary melodrama.”

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