|Written by Ivan Radford|
|Friday, 04 November 2011 00:56|
Director: Andrew Haigh
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 48 hours. Russell is a timid homosexual, who’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 naked men in leather boots in a pub, but then has a go at anyone who doesn’t like it. They’re two contrasting responses to society’s treatment of queers that mark out Haigh’s movie as both daringly different and instantly familiar.
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 up against the lovers as they 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, sex scenes that are withheld until later in the relationship.
It’s a simple account of a fledgling couple, made more immediate by the complete lack of music. Weekend is full of the raw mundanity of everyday life but tinged with a hopeful optimism that really moves. It’s Before Sunrise. But with two blokes. In Nottingham. A superb slice of contemporary cinema.
This review is also published over at Cine-Vue.