Enduring love and regret laid bare

Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan in Le Week-end
Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan in Le Week-end
Share this article

The latest collaboration between director Roger Michell and writer Hanish Kureishi, Le Week-End (Cert 15) is a delightful bittersweet comedy about enduring love and regret.

Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan are Nick and Meg, a sixtysomething couple celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary with a weekend getaway in Paris with a hitherto unspoken agenda of making changes in their lives.

As they travel around the city, they bicker about each other’s faults and occasionally share moments of intimate affection and capture the spirit of their younger days, such as running out of a swanky restaurant without paying the bill.

Birmingham college philosophy lecturer Nick has a woebegone self-deprecating humour while teacher Meg is weary of it all and yearns for something new in her life.

A chance meeting with an American expat (a peerless cameo from Jeff Goldblum) who remembers Nick from his student days leads to a dinner party at his house where some painful truths are spoken. Mitchell exploits the romantic qualities of the Parisian location and ends the film with a neat homage to Godard’s Bande à Part. With its reliance on two powerful central performances of characters whokeep delivering smart, funny and heart-rending dialogue, it adds up to Before Midnight for the grey pound cinema audience.