When we heard that our friend David’s brother Andrew Haigh had a film showing at this years festival, we went with trepidation… What if it was terrible? Would we have to lie to our friend and say that we liked it?
Fortunately for us (and Andrew I would imagine) Weekend is a fantastic film.
Two men, Russell and Glen, meet at a gay bar and have a one night stand that develops into much more over the course of a weekend.
At heart Weekend is just a series of conversations between the main characters, similar to Before Sunrise (to which it has been compared). But it is so well crafted that you find yourself completely absorbed in the budding relationship between the two.
This a beautifully shot film. The camera work is intimate and remote when it needs to be. There’s little in the way of frills or gimmicks with the camera work or editing (and very little music, apart from incidental or background stuff) which gives the actors the space they need to just act.
And they act very well. Tom Cullen
plays Russell, a “mostly out” guy, who is pretty shy, a bit repressed and doesn’t really like talking about being gay. Chris New
plays Glen, who is the opposite of Russell in a lot of ways. Out and proud, he’s a bit militant, but also a little messed up. They are both very natural and believable.
As their weekend romance progresses we (and they) learn more about themselves and each other.
Although this is a film with gay themes and is at times quite confrontational, it’s also a film about relationships and in that respect is a film for everyone. It’s about difference between the persona we project and the person we are inside. It’s also about letting others see that person inside.
This was a quiet little gem of a film and I’m really glad we don’t have to lie to our friend about how much we liked it.