Like a 20-years-later sequel to Before Midnight, this sharply observant comedy-drama follows a couple through a soul-searching weekend in which they evaluate their relationship with real wit and emotion. And transparent performances make it something to savour, as it offers us a rare grown-up movie about real issues we can identify with.
As the title suggests, the weekend in question takes place in France, and it's a 30th anniversary treat for Nick and Meg (Broadbent and Duncan). They can't really afford a trip to Paris, especially after ditching their dodgy pre-booked hotel in lieu of something far nicer, but they figure out ways to make their time special. Meanwhile, they talk about their years together, and the hopes and regrets that are haunting their thoughts. There are some hard questions to ask about their future, even as they haven't lost that spark of sexuality. Then they run into Nick's old Cambridge pal Morgan (Goldblum), who invites them to a party where they meet academics and artists just like them. Which only makes them think even more.
The key issues for them include Nick's early retirement (for an ill-timed comment to a student) and Meg's desire to change her life completely. As they consider the options, their conversations drive the film forward forcefully, flowing through cycles of flirtation and laughter to bitterness and cruelty. The depth of their love is never in doubt, even as they wonder how secure their relationship actually is. Broadbent and Duncan play these scenes effortlessly, taking our breath away because it's all so honest, often both funny and scary at the same time.
Continue reading: Le Week-end Review
Meg and Nick are a seemingly devoted couple who venture to the romantic city of Paris on their thirtieth wedding anniversary in the hope of rekindling old feelings from their honeymoon. They may claim to love each other, but things are far from perfect in their relationship as their routine lifestyles have caused a dramatic rift between them without them even noticing. Their weekend is tainted by frequent arguments, though always warmed by frequent displays of affection and childish exploits. However, when they bump into old American friend who invites them for dinner at his Parisian apartment, they start to feel depressed that their lives are several shades less colourful than his with his gorgeous pregnant wife, success in the city and an impressive book deal. Will this long-devoted couple find peace within themselves to be content with one another? Or will Paris cause them to finally drift apart?
Continue: Le Week-End Trailer
Though it is a solid movie with some astute observations, L'Auberge Espagnole constantly pushes you away like a busy parent on a deadline. The movie never makes a connection because it's too busy tackling too many subjects, instead of focusing on doing one thing well.
Continue reading: L'Auberge Espagnole Review
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