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Weekend
BLU-RAY disk
08.28.2012 By: Mathew Plale
Weekend order
Director:
Andrew Haigh

Actors:
Tom Cullen
Chris New
Jonathan Race

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Two gay men (Cullen, New) in the English Midlands have a passionate, honest fling over the course of 48 hours.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Andrew Haigh’s sophomore feature, Weekend, tells of one of those relationships where the beginning is also the end. It opens on Russell (Tom Cullen). He attends a party one night that he seems a touch uncomfortable at. He makes an excuse to leave, then goes to a club. The next morning, he makes coffee for two.

The other man is Glen (Chris New), an artist. Glen takes out a tape recorder and immediately starts questioning Russell about the night before. They meet again and Glen announces he is leaving for Portland. It will be a passionate, sometimes fierce 48-hour relationship between two individuals who will no doubt think of one another years down the road.

Many great movies have been made with this structure, such as Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise/Sunset double feature and Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation.

While Cullen and New have a terrific chemistry, much of the dialogue they’re given feels contrived. Yes, the topics Haigh wants to explore must be done quickly (after all, it’s only 48 hours for Russell and Glen and 97 minutes for the viewer), but so much comes off forced. And though passionate and intelligent at times, it lacks a certain sweetness until the final scene, which steals directly from both Before Sunrise and Lost in Translation in setting and approach.

There is no denying that a lot of heart went into the film. It has its flaws, but it is honest, bold and personal, a prime example of modern gay cinema.
THE EXTRAS
Andrew Haigh’s Weekend (30:28): In this piece, director Haigh, producer Tristan Goligher, actors Tom Cullen and Chris New, and director of photography Ula Pontikos discuss the making of Weekend. Included are interviews and clips.

The Sex Scenes (6:21) are explained by director Haigh.

Audition Tape (10:06): This footage shows actors Cullen and New in two scenes, along with the versions included in Weekend.

Chris New’s Footage (8:35) gives an intimate look behind the scenes of Weekend, with on-set footage shot by New and whoever else opted to hold the camera.

Quinnford + Scout (7:12): Irish team Colin Quinn (not that one) and Oisin Share discuss their work as set photographers on Weekend.

Two Short Films: Included are 2003’s Cahuenga Blvd. (6:06) and 2009’s Five Miles Out (18:13).

Trailer

Also included with this Criterion Collection Blu-ray is a 16-page booklet featuring an essay titled “The Space Between Two People” by film critic Dennis Lim.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Though it’s drawn comparisons to Before Sunrise/Sunset and Lost in Translation, Andrew Haigh’s Weekend lacks a certain subtlety and sweetness found in those films. However, it’s still a personal and honest example of modern gay cinema, worth seeing to experience the story and great performances. Special features include behind-the-scenes footage, interviews and two of Haigh’s short films.
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+1
11:35AM on 08/28/2012
This is simply a beautiful film. Love it so much that I'm gonna see it again.
This is simply a beautiful film. Love it so much that I'm gonna see it again.
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10:39PM on 08/28/2012
A movie I love. I think it is a beautiful romance film, and the only thing that stops me from giving it that PERFECT rating, is that I do wish there was a bit more focus on their growing relationship and less on the sex. But that is such a minor flaw. It still gets a 9/10 from me!
A movie I love. I think it is a beautiful romance film, and the only thing that stops me from giving it that PERFECT rating, is that I do wish there was a bit more focus on their growing relationship and less on the sex. But that is such a minor flaw. It still gets a 9/10 from me!
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