By Matt Passantino
One of the great character actors, Jim Broadbent, delivers one of his finest performances in Le Week-End. Broadbent, an Oscar winner for his supporting role in Iris, rarely gets an opportunity to headline a film as he does with Le Week-End. His performance feels so natural and effortless; it is a great reminder of how good of an actor Broadbent is, whether in a supporting or leading role.
Broadbent’s co-star, Lindsay Duncan, matches him. They are long-time married couple Nick and Meg, who have returned to Paris in an attempt to reignite their marriage. They spent their honeymoon there, and go back not to relive their younger years, but to remind themselves of their love. Their relationship has seen its share of ups and downs but Nick and Meg refuse to be complacent with their marriage. Some of the things they do on their trip to Paris offer the film’s biggest laughs, making Le Week-End as funny as it is reflective.
Le Week-End illustrates both sides of a long-term marriage. Nick and Meg have had great years together but they do not shy away from making sure the other knows what bothers them. Even when Le Week-End tackles some of the heavier sides of marriage, there is a tone of whimsy throughout the film that gives it a great deal of charm.
Set in one of the most picturesque cities, Le Week-End is a beautiful meditation on the third act of life. Directed with ease by Roger Michell (Notting Hill, Morning Glory), Le Week-End is wonderful film and vehicle for one of the most recognizable character actors. So far, it’s is one of the stronger films of 2014, balancing humor and drama so efficiently, a task most films struggle with today.
Catch Le Week-End before it closes at The Little, as it’s already been there for three weeks!
Matt is a senior at the College at Brockport. You can follow all his movie musings on Twitter at @MattPassantino and his blog, passantinomovies.tumblr.com.