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Weekend - 4/11/2011 5:35:38 PM   
Empire Admin

 

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RE: Weekend - 5/11/2011 9:05:05 PM   
losthighway


Posts: 3248
Joined: 25/1/2006
From: Manchesterford
***BE WARNED: MAJOR SPOILERS!!!***

OK, so I went to see this earlier this evening and it was followed by a Q&A with the main stars and the film's producer. I was really looking forward to the film having read and heard many positive reviews and my thoughts are as follows...

It's a very well made film, e.g. great cinematography (Nottingham has never looked so good!!!), the acting is spot on, the soundtrack is excellent (I love John Grant! ) and the storyline/characters and the natural tone/feel of the movie all work in its favour, drawing you in and really making you connect with both characters throughout... HOWEVER I just can't get past the feeling that it falls into one too many gay cinema cliches.

For example, the film's characters discuss some very real concerns which plague us gay folks on a daily basis (e.g. is it safe to hold hands/kiss in certain places, gay marriage, being in a mainly straight environment and feeling isolated, heterosexism/indoctrination, the realities of being in a minority!), but then the main stars and producer both argued it wasn't an 'issues' led film!?

Hmmmmm, so why then does the camera linger over the character in a bath with his bits lolling about, plus full frontal nudity also coming into play during a bedroom scene. Apparently Haigh (the director) wanted the indoor scenes to feel quite voyeuristic, which they do but at the expense of a later sex scene which then feels like it's graphicness is to make a point to any heterosexual viewers out there. I asked the cast/producer about this scene during the Q&A afterwards suggesting this point and that might it have worked better just cutting to them in bed in the morning (which they do) as it's very obvious what is going to happen the night before. All three believe the scene is integral and it's about the intimacy of the scene and truthfulness to the story/characters rather than any intention to shock/be titillating... I can see their point but as it plays in the film, I remain to be convinced.

It's also worth mentioning that there's some pretty heavy drug taking in the film which evidently got the film its 18 certificate. But again, whilst the film should be true to itself and not be a responsible for representing a minority, I couldn't help feeling 'the gays' were yet again being shown as drug-fuelled hedonists... Most of us really aren't that exciting!! It would have been nice to see a couple of guys who hook up without the need for copious amounts of weed and coke... i know many guys who manage to get laid without either!!

ENDING SPOILER... I also take some convincing about the ending which whilst I admit in terms of naturalism, it makes sense within the realm of a 48hr relationship but at the same time if we're playing the issues cards at other points throughout the film, then the fact they don't end up together just falls into the usual cliche of gay films of yesteryear, i.e. we're either killed off, contract HIV/AIDS or end up alone! Funnily enough, the gay couple sat next to me passed exactly the same comment as the film ended.

I think the film is very good but I just can't get past the feeling I wanted to like it far more than I did. The reviews have been very positive and Peccadillo Pictures are clearly wanting it to go mainstream, but I fear it's arty tone won't have quite the same breakout appeal that say Brokeback Mountain had (forget the Hollywood stars, etc... i'm referring to the actual storyline). I think Weekend is a film which would work very well on TV at some point but for now, I recommend you guys/gals go and catch it if it's showing on a screen near you.

Overall: 3.5/5 (this may increase to 4 after further reflection)

< Message edited by losthighway -- 5/11/2011 11:30:18 PM >


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RE: Weekend - 13/11/2011 11:01:17 AM   
losthighway


Posts: 3248
Joined: 25/1/2006
From: Manchesterford
Off to see this for a second time tonight... Has nobody else seen this film?? How depressing if that is the case.

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RE: Weekend - 13/11/2011 12:06:15 PM   
Herr Schnitzel

 

Posts: 205
Joined: 1/2/2009
Loved it and it's one of the rare films that stayed with me long after I saw it. I wrote a review for another site:


There are countless films about people falling in love, but when you see Weekend you realise just how rare films are that make a sincere attempt to catch what it really is like to fall for someone, without sentimentality, forced cuteness or cheap emotional manipulation. This is the rare love story that has real emotional truth about it. The fact that it is about two men who fall for each other is almost secondary to the way the film catches the universality of what it is like to fall in love. Weekend is not about exceptional people, just about two average, if smart and likable men, tentatively getting close to each other and it catches lightning in a bottle.

This is not to play down the importance of Weekend as a gay film. Gay issues are touched upon and some good political points are made about gay men in todays society, but it's never in a didactic way. Nothing here feels forced, there is a naturalness about the acting and dialogue, real chemistry between the two leads and a sense of lightness about the filmmaking that yet never feels trivial. Weekend catches the little moments of life beautifully and it finds beauty in the everyday.

The acting here is simply amazing from both leads but Tom Cullen as the more quiet, introverted Russell has a touching vulnerability about him and gives what I would regard as the best performance of the year by a male actor. It's all there in tiny details, there is never a moment when you don't utterly believe what goes on in his heart, it's all there in his eyes and the most subtle shifts of expression. No doubt this performance will be overlooked in favour of more histrionic turns this year, but this is what truly great screen acting is about. I think I fell a little bit in love with him myself.


< Message edited by Herr Schnitzel -- 13/11/2011 12:07:29 PM >

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Post #: 4
RE: Weekend - 13/11/2011 1:16:55 PM   
losthighway


Posts: 3248
Joined: 25/1/2006
From: Manchesterford
quote:

The acting here is simply amazing from both leads but Tom Cullen as the more quiet, introverted Russell has a touching vulnerability about him and gives what I would regard as the best performance of the year by a male actor. It's all there in tiny details, there is never a moment when you don't utterly believe what goes on in his heart, it's all there in his eyes and the most subtle shifts of expression. No doubt this performance will be overlooked in favour of more histrionic turns this year, but this is what truly great screen acting is about.


It was astonishing to hear in the Q&A that their lines/subtle nuiances were all scripted and yet it feels so improvised.

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Post #: 5
don't believe the hype - 13/11/2011 11:34:49 PM   
tingod

 

Posts: 1
Joined: 13/11/2011
If only this had the depth and the chemistry of Before Sunrise (the director's obvious inspiration for this film)
If only this were as charming and emotional as My Beautiful Thing.
If only it were fun as Queer as Folk.
If only it were cool as My Own Private Idaho.
Beautifully directed, John Grant 's song is great but badly used
Writing is mediocre to say the least.
Sorry guys you need to watch more films!

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Post #: 6
RE: don't believe the hype - 14/11/2011 9:57:57 PM   
losthighway


Posts: 3248
Joined: 25/1/2006
From: Manchesterford

quote:

ORIGINAL: tingod

If only this had the depth and the chemistry of Before Sunrise (the director's obvious inspiration for this film)
If only this were as charming and emotional as My Beautiful Thing.
If only it were fun as Queer as Folk.
If only it were cool as My Own Private Idaho.
Beautifully directed, John Grant 's song is great but badly used
Writing is mediocre to say the least.
Sorry guys you need to watch more films!


I think the writing was better than medicore but it was far too gay issues focussed. I've been trying to see it for a second time, re-evaluate my initial reaction as my expectations were so high but each performance at my local arthouse cinema has been sold out. However, I do fear it's now treading the path of Tyrannosaur , i.e. ridiculously overhyped by press/distributor/cinema lovies when actually it's not that great (and in the case of Tyrannosaur, just plain dire!).

I need to see it again...


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Post #: 7
RE: don't believe the hype - 15/11/2011 8:15:02 AM   
Herr Schnitzel

 

Posts: 205
Joined: 1/2/2009

quote:

ORIGINAL: tingod

If only this had the depth and the chemistry of Before Sunrise (the director's obvious inspiration for this film)
If only this were as charming and emotional as My Beautiful Thing.
If only it were fun as Queer as Folk.
If only it were cool as My Own Private Idaho.
Beautifully directed, John Grant 's song is great but badly used
Writing is mediocre to say the least.
Sorry guys you need to watch more films!


Thanks for the condescension, but I watch a lot of films. I have seen all the films you've mentioned and I preferred this to all of them.

(in reply to tingod)
Post #: 8
Horny Weekend - 1/12/2011 4:58:20 PM   
Friendsknew

 

Posts: 5
Joined: 1/12/2011
Englands got so many great filmmakers at the moment.
This along with Shame, Black Biscuit, Tyrannosaurus.........
You know why that is ?
Because of the lack of funds filmmakers have had to simplify their movies and go back to the core of human feelings.
Simple, profound, and charming. A real winner.

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Post #: 9
Shitty gay film - 18/3/2012 11:36:12 AM   
C3

 

Posts: 33
Joined: 21/1/2008
Well I could barely make it through this...Bad "channel 4 " acting...lol so bad...it made Brookside look like Gone With The Wind. But what makes it really hilarious is the most unrealistic plot since independance day. There will be gays that fall in love with the idea of what happens in this film, but my experience of the gay community is anything but. Its a totally false impression of what actually the gay community is really like. Its pretty obvious its a flight of fancy of what the writer/director wishes the community to be, but doesn't come close. ALso found it hilarious when the better looking one thinks the short arsed averge looking Mr Joe midget is out of his league. You need higher standards mate. Yet another nail in the coffin of gay films...Honestly..is this really any better than Latter Days?? At least there was hot mormons in that lol

< Message edited by C3 -- 18/3/2012 11:39:18 AM >

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Post #: 10
RE: don't believe the hype - 18/3/2012 11:42:52 AM   
C3

 

Posts: 33
Joined: 21/1/2008
Honestly..how the hell could you sit through that twice??? I'd rather staple my ample scrotum to a moving car tyre

(in reply to losthighway)
Post #: 11
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