Weekend

Movies
3 out of 5 stars
Weekend

Love is not necessarily forever. For lifeguard Russell (Cullen) and artist Glen (New)---two gay Britons who have a life-changing weekend tte--tte---a couple of days will do. Following a brief prologue, in which a clearly discontented Russell attends a party thrown by some straight friends, writer-director Andrew Haigh's gentle wisp of a film is quick to get the duo together. They meet late at night in a strobe-lit bar, the pounding music drowning out their dialogue so we're focused entirely on furtive glances and inebriated body movements (a gorgeous, hypnotic sequence). Glen doesn't even seem that interested in Russell, and we only find out how they ended up together in bed during some morning hangover chat (it involves a diminutive nuisance hilariously nicknamed "the Hobbit").

From there, Weekend settles into an intentionally minor-key groove, caught somewhere between bracingly direct honesty and cringingly mumbly pretense. Russell and Glen fuck, take walks and have some drug-addled talk about gay issues ranging from media representation to coming out. And after Glen reveals he's going to be leaving for the U.S. come Monday, what started as a one-night stand becomes a short-term long-term relationship of the Brief Encounter kind. Cullen and New have an easy chemistry, and their modest good looks are a nice riposte to queer cinema's tendency to favor the smooth, the muscled and the pillow-lipped. But the consistently hushed palette proves so enervating---even the teary-eyed climax barely rises above a whisper---that Haigh's good-natured and amiable effort ultimately lapses into inconsequence.

Follow Keith Uhlich on Twitter: @keithuhlich

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By: Keith Uhlich

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Release details

Release date: Thursday September 22 2011
Duration: 121 mins

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