›› Weekend ‹‹

a film by Andrew Haigh.

2011 | 97 mins | UK.

a remarkably honest depiction of two men finding love.

Dave says:

Written and directed by Andrew Haigh, much has been said of this groundbreaking feature and in many ways it's easy to understand why, given this is one of the most remarkably honest depictions of two men finding love, in years.

For here Haigh tells the compelling story of out, but not exactly proud Russell (Tom Cullen) reluctantly agreeing to answer the art project styled questions of his Friday night hook-up Glen (Chris New), in the morning after the night before. As their discussions on life and all things gay become infused with drugs over the next forty-eight hours, Russell finds himself falling for the charms of the man in front of him, only for Glen to be of the commitment phobic variety. Unless that is, this one-night stand should turn into something special; something akin to a beautiful thing?

To some this could be viewed as nothing more than a gay variant of the opposites attract scenario and yet this is anything but your typical love story. For here Haigh cuts to the romantic core of his work, thanks to a series of character defining turns from leads Cullen and New; men who and whilst at opposite ends of the relationship spectrum, given Russell is looking for love, whilst Glen is recovering from a broken heart, are played beautifully natural throughout, as too far from stereotype.

Shot fly-on-the-wall fashion, the result is a highly observational film that finds you all but cinematically eavesdropping on the private moments between the two men, as you repeatedly come to witness two strangers becoming ever more drawn to each other, culminating in a closing scene that wonderfully illustrates the power of love and how it comes to make both parties all the better for it; no matter how fleeting it may be.

Sure, there's a lot of drug use here; yet such self-induced highs produce some serious food for thought, as the narrative turns from gay experiences and here cue coming out, to the debatable issue of gay marriage. Only behind all of the positive imagery and authentic Nottingham locations, Haigh does not shy away from the reality of homophobia, courtesy of a soundtrack that's all too bitterly blunt. And whilst the sex scenes are graphic of the sweat 'n' sex variety, they're far from explicit, as awkward moments give way to yearnings of the heart, captured almost faux documentary fashion. Achingly gritty and raw goes without saying; yet equally quite touching. Say no more.

›› available as part of the PECCADILLO PICTURES catalogue: 19th March, 2012 / UK.
›› revised: Monday, 23rd May, 2022.

Gay Visibility - overt | Nudity - the full monty | Overall - file under ... 4 stars

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