Weekend (2011) Poster

(II) (2011)

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The rare film about falling in love that gets to the heart of the matter
Boris_Day31 October 2011
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.
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This is the best low budget indie gay movie in years, and the best gay movie since BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN
aupairkansas18 September 2011
I just watched WEEKEND at a screening at the Oslo LGBT film festival, and am still in shock. This is the most real cinematic version of guys falling in love in recent history. I'm a filmmaker myself, and was blown away by the caliber of the writing, directing, acting, cinematography, editing, and music of this fantastic film. There's not a false note in the movie--everything rings true, even the ending (no spoilers here.) It's the rare film, like WINTER'S BONE last year, that at every turning point takes what I call the elegant decision. WEEKEND is at a higher level than all other LGBT films playing the festival circuit this year (the only other film near this level is Tom Twyker's 3.) Actually, it's at a higher level than almost all films playing anywhere this year. Where did this film come from? Apparently the brilliant mind of Andrew Haigh (writer/director/editor), who, I noted on an IMDb search, started as an apprentice editor on GLADIATOR, and then assistant editor on BLACK HAWK DOWN (working with the master editor Pietro Scalia on both. Go UCLA!) I look forward to seeing more of Haigh's work. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT miss this movie.
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This is a love story. It is not cheesy. It is not fake. It is love, plain and simple. Let go of your prejudices and bias and watch the film.
c-chesley7 November 2011
The IMDb summary of the film does it no justice whatsoever. This piece of art depicted the most genuine and sincere definition of love in any motion picture that I have seen. Besides the fact that the script was well-written, the actors carried the story to fruition in their slightest of gestures, glances, and articulations. You really fall in love with Glen and Russell and want them to be with each other. There are parts where you'll laugh, parts where you might tear up, and parts where you might wonder if you've ever felt what these characters feel for each other. There are some wonderful scenes cinematically as well. The ending is satisfying and resonant of real life, which is a nice change of pace when compared to other love stories. This is the movie that you should see, and I hope you will.
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Perfect chemistry
Benedict_Cumberbatch1 January 2012
I watched this film after a friend highly recommended it. The gay film festivals and critics' awards and nominations it's been getting are much deserved.

Russell (Tom Cullen), a young gay man in Nottingham, UK, picks up Glen (Chris New) at a nightclub. They have a one-night stand but realize they share much more than animal attraction. They spend a weekend together trying to figure out whether or not they can turn this into something "concrete".

"Weekend" is part of the 'brief encounter' subgenre I am a big fan of. It's a 'talkie' for excellence; if you love films like "Lost In Translation", "Before Sunrise" and "Before Sunset", you'll probably be smitten by this as well. A naturalistic approach to filmmaking - especially to such a dialogue-driven narrative like this - is very hard to pull off; but writer/director/editor Andrew Haigh knows how to create sparks. Special kudos go to the excellent protagonists, Tom Cullen and Chris New, whose on-screen chemistry is palpable, moving, and simply a pleasure to watch. This is a weekend you shouldn't sleep through.
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Simply wonderful
jemoliver4 November 2011
Just back from seeing Weekend at a mainstream cinema in London and simply wanted to say that the other reviewers here have hit the nail on the head perfectly. This film is literally flawless - so real, so well acted, naturalistic dialogue spoken utterly naturally. It captured my 20s in a bottle. Thank you to all involved. I'd forgotten cinema could be this fantastic. I liked the fact that the film's location was kept anonymous - most appropriate, given that the film was so accurately observed and depicted that it could have been about many of my friends, all over the UK. Some excellent cinematography too - lingering shots of a normal British city, captured at sunset/mid-afternoon/anytime, worked well at keeping the pace reflective. Finally, the moments of passion were handled sensitively, but, again, so realistically. One particularly stunning moment was the cut away and sudden fast forward to the morning - somehow capturing instantly the bleak moment that follows ecstasy, but doing it in a non-showy way. I will be watching for more of Andrew Haigh's work.
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Movie with a Human Agenda
evanston_dad22 December 2011
In "Weekend," a beautifully acted and written indie drama from writer/director (and editor) Andrew Haigh, two gay men fall heavily for each other over the course of a 2 or 3 day period, each getting at something in the other that no one before had managed to do. But this is not a "gay" movie, and people who stay away from it because they think it has a gay agenda, or that it has nothing to say to them, or who are simply uncomfortable with the sight of two men having sex, will deny themselves the pleasure of seeing a film with a universal message about what it's like to be lonely and the search for meaningful human connections that kind of loneliness motivates.

It's not that Haigh avoids addressing the complications of being gay in the present day. Part of what I admired about the film was that it put being gay, and the constant energy it takes on the part of gay men to either fight or ignore the ignorance and hostility they must constantly endure, in a context that anybody can understand. The film's central character, Russell (Tom Cullen), has been raised as a foster child in a "straight" environment. His foster brother knows he's gay and is accepting of it, but even at that, Russell's time with his brother and his brother's family only accentuates the desolate fact that the kind of "normal" happiness his brother enjoys (the solidarity of a strong marriage, children) is something that at best he will have to fight for or at worst will be denied altogether. The bitterness this harsh reality can create in gay men is illustrated in the character of Glen (Chris New), a crusader who believes happiness in marriage is a sham perpetrated by the straight community and that attempts at finding contentment and satisfaction in a life partner are akin to tilting at windmills.

Cullen and New deliver award-worthy performances, so it's a shame that this film's size and subject matter will deny it any kind of major awards attention. The film is actually breathtaking at moments, albeit in an unassuming way, in its frankness and its ability to capture perfectly in words ideas about the way our societies treat relationships, commitments and love that I had only half articulated to myself. It would be easy to believe that Haigh found two non-actors roaming the streets, asked them to star in a movie, gave them situations to play out without a script, and filmed the results. It's that authentic.

I hope people see this movie.

Grade: A
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BROKEBACK in a minor key
davidgee17 November 2011
Two gay men pick each other up in a disco in Nottingham and get to know each other over the next two days. They talk, drink, do some drugs, make love, meet people and discover how much they have in common. Russell, who is out to his friends but not to his workmates, would like to get into a relationship. Glen, out to everyone, has had a relationship go bad and is about to move to the US, so he's not looking to get involved.

Andrew Haigh, a writer/director from the Mike Leigh school of intense naturalism, shows us the intricate dynamics of a relationship which just happens to be between two men. The interaction is more important than the sex (which is relatively low-key). This is - obviously! - a gay movie, but it could just as easily be a straight movie.

Tom Cullen and Chris New give finely judged, sensitive performance as the two men who fancy each other, like each other and come to realise that they could very easily come to love each other. WEEKEND has a more intimate, less 'epic' story than BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, but the viewer is invited in a very similar way to watch two people fall into a love affair that may or may not have a future. This is a small movie that packs a big punch.
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At last, a movie about falling in love, is not cute romantic comedy
gregorybnyc30 December 2011
In reading several reviews posted about this outstanding film, I note several things:

*I'm sick to death of people complaining they cannot understand English people speaking English. Pay attention, they are completely understandable!

*This isn't a romantic comedy!

*If straight audiences are squeamish about a movie anyone can relate to--well tough!

A superior film about a sexual and then romantic period in two young men's lives, WEEKEND is a riveting and adult piece of filmmaking. Andrew Haigh's writing and direction is so well observed and detailed the viewer is left astounded at the simplicity of his vision and the skill of his masterly direction.

Tom Cullen and Chris New play Russell and Glen with utter conviction, all the more impressive in their love scenes, and in their moments of intimate touching because one of them is straight. This must have been nerve-wracking for both of them and yet they handle these scenes with restraint and with believable ardor.

I loved the scene where Russell is visiting his straight best friend and finally admits he is deeply shaken by Glen. His friend is perfectly happy and insistent to drive him to the railroad station.

The only scene that didn't completely work for me was their night of boozing and drugging. I just didn't see Russell indulging in cocaine and while I know some people think it makes the mind clear, but there are no real revelations during this long night. Reminded me of another long filmed sequence--that endless wedding reception in Rachel Getting Married. A real misstep.

The chemistry between Russell and Glen's characters goes a long way towards the film's excellence. There is nothing cute, or silly, or humiliating or just plain dumb between these two very likable men. The camera allows you to discover them and the movie is a real gem for it.
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Touching, Natural, Simply Splendid
davidm92330 October 2011
What a "lovely" (a phrase used, to much effect, by one of our characters) surprise! Agree with other postings that this film is one of the best gay films ... ever. And I have been wading through many clinkers, alas, in the past 35 years of watching gay themed movies. The two men, and their situation, becomes increasingly engrossing. They are real and the dialog rings so true. Some with long memories, or a love of classic films, might think this instant classic is reminiscent of a long-ago movie. But without spoiling or leading you on, you'll have to consider that after you see Weekend. Two thoughts - Why hasn't this film been attracting larger audiences? And I wish we had another 30 minutes to spend with Glen and Russell. Enjoy first rate filmmaking. Congratulations to the writer-director and the two leading men.
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realistic gay storyline
IanRusk11 January 2015
Boy meets boy: boys have 2-day fling that turns into something deeper than either character anticipated. Russell picks up Glen (both early 30 somethings) in a gay bar and takes him home. After a night of passionate sex, the two characters connect on many levels and have the beginnings of a deep relationship, but an unexpected obstacle — at least for Russell — arises. Will there be a happy ending for both characters? More loneliness for Russell? Weekend offers up a realistic gay love story with meaningful dialogue, realistic scenarios. Anyone who has spent much time in the gay life-style will likely find much to relate to in this simple yet powerful story that perfectly illustrates the trials and tribulations of many gay men. One of the best gay movies I have seen. Some nude scenes by both male leads and some fairly graphic simulated sex scenes, but nothing too overboard.
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Is it necessary to find another pencil?
StevePulaski21 June 2012
Russell (Tom Cullen) is a cleaned up, well-mannered man, working as a lifeguard, who, after one night at a house party, is searching the streets looking for someone to talk to and hook up with. He ventures into a gay nightclub, and picks up the aspiring artist, Glen (Chris New), a man more comfortable and open about his homosexuality. Russell and Glen become surprisingly close and what was destined to be a simple one night stand evolves into one of the most meaningful and tremendously potent on-screen romances from independent cinema in a long time.

Andrew Haigh's Weekend is a delightfully different picture, about two gay men who take on a fondness for each other in the least conventional sense. They wind up equally understanding each other, taking each other for who they are, and become more open in their conversations than I'm sure lifelong friends have. To say how and why it happens is so subjective it's not even wholly explainable. Sometimes, a person catches you by surprise and, despite only knowing them for a short time, you can feel heavily sympathetic towards their problems and issues, begin to talk openly with one another about personal subjects, and, after a while, begin to become transgressive in your discussions, just talking about whatever you feel like. Perhaps it is just that other person's presence that makes each of them feel so comfortable and open. What Russell and Glen discuss over this forty-eight hour relationship probably hasn't even been vaguely brought up when talking with family.

Cullen and New are exceptionally perfect in their chemistry together. One of the most poignant scenes in the film comes a little after the hour mark, when they are discussing gay rights with each other. To discuss the treatment of gays in society and in the media is obligatory when dealing with a film focusing on a same-sex relationship, but being that Weekend is a British film, it has a welcomed take on the subject, showing us that passionate relationships with two people of the same gender exist all over the world. We learn Glen must board a train on Monday and from there on out, is Oregon-bound to take a two year long art course. It is quite possible that this adds to the rush of discussing as many topics as possible before the inevitable morning comes.

The crisp photography of the picture is to be commended as well. There are some evocative, crisp location and involving scenery shots scattered throughout the entire picture. Haigh's directorial effort is truly an astonishing work of indie-art, as it shows photography in not a pompous light, but as a background delight to the foreground extravaganza we are enduring. It is too complimented by some delightful framing, where it seems everything inside of the frame has some sort of true, bountiful significance.

Another talk of true satisfaction is when the Glen tells Russell to act as if he was his father and come out of the closet to him. It is at that moment, after the deed is done on Russell's part, Glen utters the most satisfying and beautiful line in the entire picture. To repeat it here is an act of criminal spoiling.

Weekend is a naturalistic and touching film, whether you're gay, straight, bisexual, or whatever orientation. This is a film that can give you relationship advice and life guidance no matter what you're orientation may be. It isn't an indulgent film bringing only a unique gay relationship to light and nothing more, and it isn't an ode to "coming out" and stockpiled clichés of "being different." It shows how the slightest, most unassuming interaction with a person, regardless of two days in length or six years, can have a truly provocative impact on you as a person. This is one of the wisest and least condescending independent films I've seen this year.

Starring: Tom Cullen and Greg New. Directed by: Andrew Haigh.
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To feel.
Capellaro77 August 2014
What a lovely work of film. A very beautiful, very real and very bittersweet story - telling of the pains and passions of love that comes to us so unexpectedly and then, ultimately, leaves us. An all too familiar feeling for a yearning heart. From stunning cinematography to a painfully relate-able story - this film will always allow for it's viewers to access the nature of it's being and it's beauty. For every human understand what it is to yearn for something so much, that when it's gone, we feel empty. That, is film. Weekend is a great testament to the vision and the work of a talented cast and crew. I give this film my highest recommendation and feel that it's simplicity is it's genius. Thank you, Mr. Haigh.
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Honest character-driven film
grnhair200110 February 2013
I'm not English, male, or gay, so I probably missed some subtle points in this film, but I liked it a good deal. (Seven is a good rating for me, and this almost qualifies for an eight.)

The story of two new lovers getting to know each other after a drunken one-night stand is touching and revealing of the workings of the human heart. Not-quite-closeted shy Russell and in-your-face Glen are complex characters who change in the weekend they get together. Talking about points of disagreement helps each understand more about what they really feel about various issues. I felt the filmmaker captured what it is to be a real person having real discovery-type conversations. (I had a quick flash of Before Sunrise, when that film worked for me.)

The lovemaking scenes are indeed lovemaking. I was bothered by Brokeback Mountain's because the sex in it seemed so brutal (and I thought more than once "and that doesn't equal love; I'm unconvinced these two are in love at all"); but here, I felt I was witnessing two sane (or as sane as most of us are), healthy men interacting sensually and falling for each other, the sex being part of the increased tenderness and vulnerability between them. I mused on who would find it comfortable/uncomfortable to watch, and I wish I could tell people via this review if they could bear watching the two more explicit scenes or not. Probably if you're willing to watch this film at all, knowing the subject matter in advance, you'll be okay with the level of detail in the sex scenes. There are many moments not sexual which are more intimate and moving. Smart writing in those post-sex intimacies that comprise the bulk of the film.

I also liked the framing of many shots, particularly of Russell in his solitary moments, as the framing told the story of his alienation so clearly. (At one point I flashed on Jim Jarmusch--if someone gave him some color stock, it could have been a Jarmusch moment.) I particularly liked the insert of a scanning surveillance camera, as it heightened the sense that Russell is always aware of and reacting to the panopticon of homophobia all the time. Again, I thought, there is real intelligence in this filmmaking.

A smart, authentic, artistically done film, a terrific addition to the list of thoughtful, small/focused relationship films.
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Riveting! With the potential to go mainstream...
francois-lubbe17 November 2011
I was reluctant to see this film. Wasn't in the mood for yet 'another gay movie'... Now, I have to bury my head in the sand as I think: WOW!

Weekend gives an honest, heart-warming and eye-opening birds 'eye view of what it's like for many gay guys that try to make a connection with someone they really fancy.

Unlike most romances, this isn't a divided story where we follow each character in their own corner as they're unavoidably maneuverer into each other's arms. Adding to the rawness of the storyline, the film is set in a decidedly unromantic borough of Nottingham, in the UK, with no cute cafés or cosy breakfast spots to be seen... (Excuse the comparison, but thankfully, this is not your typical rose garden-type Jennifer Aniston rom-com. Phew!!!)

For those who have never seen the inside of a high-rise council flat, in England, this would be a chance to get an intimate glimpse of what it's like inside and out. The setting complements the characters and the actors' nontheatrical (yet intense and hyper-realistic) performances, perfectly. Both Tom Cullen (Russell) and Chris New (Glen) are utterly convincing in this 'sad, but true' love story.

In an industry where audiences are saturated with American English, it was most refreshing to see two artists maintaining their characters authenticity — even to the point of being spot on with those unique northern accents... Not many American thespians can boast with that! Whilst, some may think the use of language is one of the only pitfalls of this film, truth is, a skillful ear will enjoy the subtleties and colloquialisms that enrich the dialogue... sadly others will miss these.

Weekend is one of the best examples of how riveting British Film really can be. Director Andrew Haigh applied his camera, storytelling and art direction with the eloquent orchestration of a true master. It's filled with nuance, sensitivity and each frame is clean and airy with a timeless sensation, capturing the misty, small-city normality of Nottingham like a series of well-executed still photographs.

Clearly, I'm impressed and I sincerely hope that this 'gay film' crosses over to the mainstream. It touches on almost all elements of the modern dating scene... Not just for gay guys — however, the themes will probably ring more true for them (us). A story well told and it left a lasting impression on me.
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jboothmillard11 February 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I assumed this was a DVD I had seen in the shops a few, but I must have gotten confused with the comedy Weekender with the yellow and pink cover art, oh well, I heard this critically acclaimed and I was very interested to see why. Basically in Nottingham on Friday night Russell (Downton Abbey's Tom Cullen), who works as a lifeguard, heads from a straight house to a gay night club to go on the pull alone, and just before closing time he meets student artist Glen (Chris New), and they end up having sex back at his apartment. The next morning they wake up, Glen has Russell speak on his voice recorder talking about their experience, he says it is for an art project, and after he leaves Russell does what he always does after each man that is with him, writes about him on his laptop, it is obvious that he feels lonely most of the time. Russell and Glen do meet up the next day to ride Russell's bike, and returning to his apartment they spend the day sharing stories about past experiences and encounters as gay men, Russell tells how he grew up in foster care where he made a friend with Jamie (Jonathan Race) who is like a brother to him now. Before leaving again Glen tells him that he will be leaving the next day for a two year art course in Oregon, but he invites Russell to a party he is holding in a bar, Russell is upset a developing relationship can't last much longer, but he goes to the party and meets some of his friends, including a female friend who is normally aloud to hear all Glen's tapes, but not Russell's. The female friend tells how she is not sure Glen will actually go ahead with the trip to America, being in a relationship with a man called John who cheated on him but renounced beliefs for him, and how he was beaten up in the park by homophobic thugs. The pair of men leave the bar and go to an amusement park where Glen admits to feeling down amongst friends but happy with Russell, when they get back to the apartment they smoke marijuana and snort cocaine, and Russell reads to Glen his similar project about men he has been with, and it is a surprise when Glen recognises his ex John as one of them, they argue about it. Glen feels that things will improve for him when he is in America, but Russell wants him to stay so perhaps they can have a real relationship, but this only causes another argument between them about trust issues from past relationships and how happiness can be really achieved, but they do reconcile, passionately kiss and sleep together. In the morning they plan a game where Glen acts as Russell's father, he never got the chance to come out as gay to his real father, Glen leaves the apartment, Russell feeling devastated explains his feelings to Jami who suggests he should drop him and see him off at the train station, there they say their goodbyes and share one last kiss, before leaving Glen gave Russell a present, it is the voice recorder about their first encounter. Also starring Laura Freeman as Jill, Jonathan Wright as Johnny, Loretto Murray as Cathy, Sarah Churm as Helen, Vauxhall Jermaine as Damien, Joe Doherty as Justin and Kieran Hardcastle as Sam. You could describe this as perhaps a modern day homosexual version of Brief Encounter, with a dash of Before Sunrise, Cullen gives a touching performance as the quiet lonely gay man who thinks he's found solace but is to again be devastated, New is equally good as the young man he is falling for but cannot stay, I admit the love scenes were a little awkward, you see sperm on one of their chests LOL, but it is necessary, the dialogue scenes of the two men talking almost generally are the most interesting, it works really well as a talkative story and a small emotional love story, a fantastic romantic drama. Very good!
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What a weekend!
jrogers19907 February 2014
British independent film at its best, first of all I liked that Andrew, Chris & Tom really tore the script to pieces and just went for it which explains the organic feel to the film. Once in a blue moon a film really engages your attention and this film does, there is a beautiful subtleness to it that is really out of the norm in many films with both Tom & Chris giving believable performances.

It makes a refreshing change to watch a film that is actually realistic and could easily happen, which you can't say to every film out there. What's great about this film is the smaller details with many scenes showing the bits inbetween a typical day not just the big ta-dah moment like many other films show, I just love the pace of the film.
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Today, Still The Best
Silitonga17 November 2013
Almost 2014 and I don't find any gay themes movies as good as "Weekend". And it's still the biggest jump for gay theme movies since "Milk" in 2008 and "A Single Man" in 2009 made it (according to After Elton's ranking) as a year released debut.

Even far more from back, "Weekend" still the biggest jump for independent and limited gay theme movies since "Shelter" in 2007 shocked the world. Even many high rated independent and limited gay theme movies like, "Were the World Mine" (2008), "Patrik, Age 1.5" (2008), GLAAD awards winning "Noah's Arc: Jumping The Broom" (2008), and "Undertow" (2009) can't talk much. "Shelter" still in top chart now replace "Brokeback Mountain".

I don't wanna talk about how good "Weekend" is, because everything just perfect, acting, story, cinematography, and emotion just in a perfect shape and I'm sure everybody mostly will agree with me.

I just wanna show that everybody really (REALLY) hungry for a good, no, A GREAT gay theme movie, but unfortunately it's still really rare to find. We don't know when a great epic like "Brokeback Mountain" will exist or worse maybe there aren't like "Brokeback Mountain" no more.

I hope, 2014 will be great again.
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A pleasant surprise
AnnaSpanner24 March 2013
Well, this film was a little bobby dazzler! I must be honest, I picked it because the cover looked nice and I like a good romance story. But this film is so much more than that.

I liked both the main characters instantly - although for very different reasons. Russell, I just wanted to make him happy - his character is very self contained with an air of sadness and Tom Cullen portrays this really well. Glenn's character, played by Chris New, was really interesting and I watched the first hour of the film wanting to see him soften up and stop playing the cheeky chappie. It's worth the wait for the moment when there's a real intimacy between them (and I refer more to psychological than physical, but both apply) and you get to see Glenn show the sensitivity you always knew was lurking.

I must admit, this isn't a subject matter that I either seek out or avoid, so to me it was interesting to learn a bit more about what gay men deal with and I really felt for both of them, who deal with challenges in very different ways.

This film was real, warm and understated and I really enjoyed seeing the story unfold. I would have liked a to see them walk off into the sunset together at the end... but that's because I'm soppy and like a 'happy ever after' ending!
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Dreamy gay concrete angst
jjmartosrus11 April 2012
Warning: Spoilers
This film is certainly not for those ones looking for a complex plot with finely threaded-in sub-plots. It's much better and refreshing than that. It captures cinematically and realistically a weekend relationship with epic, albeit contained and minimalistic, consequences.

The film will appeal not only to a gay audience, but also to young urban dwellers who are in their late twenties. They will also relate strongly to it as the movie also explores self-identity and a sense of uncertainty that most young people have, partly due to our current social and economic climate.

Amidst the grey concrete of a council state and blocks of flats we find two young men passionately making love to each other. They have recently met, yet unexpectedly the atmosphere starts filling up with angst and fear of falling for each other, which they eventually do...but at a cost. Surely they will regret it, but their hearts will solider on. In between, we find them trying to be honest to each other by sharing their thoughts and anxieties. But some hilarious moments are also exposed when Glenn confesses having being discovered masturbating over a VHS copy of 'A Room With View', freezing the instant when the boys are running naked just to capture 'Rupert Grave's shuddering cock'.

I am quite surprised at the reviews that point out that 'characters are not fully explored' or the plot not being 'developed'. These people are clearly missing the main point of this dreamy movie: to capture the ethereal nature of a brief relationship, and yes there is a twist: an ethereal passion that drifts into love. Both characters do not know each other at all and it's the young artist who starts, via a tape recorder, to inquire his just met lover to give him his impressions on last night's events. Nothing is forced, the dialogue comes out naturally. Even what might come across as 'clichéd' statements shows how people try to put into simple words their complex thoughts without sounding pretentious. Concrete is another key element which is enhanced metaphorically by the young artist. Indeed, the director also manages to find beauty in a mass of concrete and grey skies, despite the young artist's complaints about suffocating in it.

The hour and a half drifted along dreamily and I even felt strongly the farewell scene at the station. Ultimately, as audience, we follow that bittersweet process. In this respect, the film delivers and leaves us with that stale taste of another weekend that has gone by.
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meaninglessbark20 January 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Weekend is one of those rare films that combine incredible film making with excellent acting and a storyline and dialog which are as good as a well crafted novel. An unusually frank and funny story about two people who think they've got themselves and life mostly sorted out beginning to discover that their views of love and the world and their behavior* are just coping mechanisms to get through life.

As the story evolves and the main characters reveal more of themselves you begin looking back on what you've already seen in the film and realize the reasons the main characters did something or live a certain way.

That may sound dry and clinical but Weekend has some of the best dialog I've seen in a film in years. And more importantly that dialog is delivered with incredible acting skills by the two main leads, it feels improvisational or like two people actually talking.

Truly fantastic and worth viewing by anyone who likes excellent independent film.

*Other reviewers have cited the drinking and drug use in Weekend as an issue. While the drink and drugs are used without typical made-for-TV consequences the film doesn't glorify their use, the drink and drugs are obviously part of the the way the main characters deal with a deep desire for love which they haven't been able to find.
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Red_Identity4 March 2013
It's so easy to dismiss a film like this as nothing different from so many indie films about gay romances. Truth be told, I really haven't seen many films of this kind, but this is a truly fantastic film that is among the very best of 2011. It's one of those completely natural films where nothing seems ingenuine or artificial. And aside from that, there's really nothing else to be said. The screenplay is one the year's best, and both leads are fantastic. Tom Cullen, in particular, stands out in one of the finest male performances of the year. It's a completely internal transformation, and he's so in-tune with what this character called for that I'm sort of amazed that he was as perfect as he was. This is a true rising talent and I hope to see more of him.
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The best movie ever !
gorunburak30 March 2012
For a long time, I've been looking for this movie because when I saw rate of the movie on IMDb, I just simply became interested. Then again, my hopes were limited.

Yesterday I bought the film and watched it at midnight. When the movie was over, I just couldn't move... It was moving, compelling, sad and hopeful all at the same time. It's saying a lot of things on which you need to contemplate.

Tom Cullen was just AMAZING because he portrayed Russell just perfect and nothing less. And I'm also surprised to find out that Russell is not similar but just exactly like me or he is me. Andrew Haigh created a character which is me.

Ignoring this detail, the movie is the best of the year and one of the very few gay movies that can touch to the bottom of your heart.

Please watch that movie and like it because it's likable and I assure you, you cannot forget it easily and want to watch it over and over again...
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Lust. Uncertainty. Self-preservation. The possibility of something greater.
Allenism23 December 2011
Warning: Spoilers
"Weekend" is simply one of 2011's best. It is a film that transcends the patently glib set-up of its narrative and delivers something that reverberates with insight and sincerely felt emotion. In the vein of "Before Sunrise", "Weekend" lets the story flow from the words of its characters, chronicling the trajectory of their relationship with a breathtaking intimacy that wipes away any sense of artifice. The rapport that steadily materializes between semi-closeted, emotionally cloistered Russell (a remarkable, utterly convincing, beautifully expressive Tom Cullen) and jaded, brashly assertive Russell (a terrific Chris New) after an ostensible one-night stand does not hinge on any cute contrivances; it is illuminated through casual conversation, awkward silences, shared drug binging, unbridled sexual engagements. They interact with each other under the disillusioned awareness of how tenuous their relationship ultimately is, yet remain in the dark about where their respective feelings will take them as they spend the next few days together. Andrew Haigh lets both of these characters breathe instead of stultifying them with rehearsed speeches or facile behavioral patterns. He films their solitary, day-to-day routines with an almost poetic sense of observation, delineating them firstly as two distinct characters who begin to bond in unexpected ways. Through an exchange of personal stories, Russell and Glen patch together discernible impressions of the experiences which directed their individual personalities and respective stations in life. They bicker over the acceptability of heteronormative decorum, express incompatible sentiments about the meaning behind sex and the necessity of relationships, and we watch with blistering closeness as an ineffable gravity pulls them closer together despite a mutual recognition that Monday will only bring separation. One could fault the screenplay for relying on familiar motivations for how the lead characters behave in the final act, but this is more than made up for by the sheer emotional force of the film's penultimate scene--rarely has goodbye been rendered with such artless, stirring pathos. And rarely has a story of falling in love been so told that challenges our very perception if its portrayal on screen.

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Stereotypical unrealistic nonsense
hotdefinition3 November 2016
I watched this film probably around a year ago and haven't had the desire to watch it again despite it being set in Nottingham (where I work).

The problem I have with so many gay films or portrayal of gay characters is the colour-by-numbers approach. The guys are always pretty good looking, fairly well off, drug taking, club hopping and sexually over- active.

This may be the reality for some gay men but it isn't for everyone. The amount of drinking, drugs, sex and clubbing in films like this is completely unrealistic - especially to those who don't live in big cities, frequent gay bars or sleep about.

Maybe a writer/director could attempt to create something with a sense of grounding, hard-faced reality and where the characters aren't one-dimensional, vapid and shallow or where the "plot" goes beyond their own wet dreams.

Last night I watched '4th Man Out' and whilst it still is a by-the-numbers sort of film, at least the main character felt real and relatable. He wasn't a druggie, he wasn't a gay clubber, he wasn't camp or a tart - he was a mechanic with straight male friends who enjoyed sports and just wanted to meet someone.

This film has a long way to go to come even 1% close to the likes of Shelter or Beautiful Thing.
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Dull and dreary, looks and sounds like a docu–soap
samuelhodder30 July 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Contains spoilers...

After all the praise that has been given to this film, I was surprised by finding myself becoming so bored by it I struggled to make it to the end.

The film consists of two broadly uninteresting people having mostly downbeat and unoriginal conversations. One, Glenn, is a 24 year old aspiring artist, though what we learn about the quality of his mind and the limited range of his consistently solipsistic thinking suggests he will be without success. He complains that straight people aren't interested enough in hearing about gay sex, that if he did a show about him talking about gay sex then straight people wouldn't come, that there aren't enough gay story lines on TV, that heterosexuality is shoved in his face, that marriage is too conformist, that gays are too pigeon– holed etc ad nauseum. And many other things the average gay man will have heard expressed 100 times before, with as little depth. Glen's friends hold him back, he thinks, seeing him only as he used to be, whereas he feels he is constantly changing. He hates Nottingham. He doesn't want a boyfriend.

The protagonist, Russell, is more endearing and essentially likable, but most of the time words need to be dragged from him, sometimes in a mumble. His relationship with his best friend Jamie is much dwelt upon, but when together he barely holds a conversation with him. He maintains a habit of writing down his depressing sexual encounters with closeted or cheating or just unhappy men. Several of these are later read out, Glen and Russell taking in turns.

Most of the film takes place inside Russell's small and dreary flat. The director's choice of a washed out colour palette of grey and blue compounds the dreariness. Outside, people shuffle up concrete paths. Russell lives there in a vacuum. Glen has some friends, but from what little we see of them, they are neither interesting or pleasant and he doesn't like them much. Really there is little of anything in their lives. What others found deeply romantic, I experienced more as claustrophobic and was unconvinced by the depth of foundations of the connection. Both characters are lonely and slightly unhappy and fancy each other. But it was easy to imagine the relationship being broken off, whether or not Glen does ultimately go to Portland (the film's only plot point). The most exciting thing they do together is have a backie on a bike.

The sex is believable and unerotic, to my mind at least, and even the drugs are no fun. In this film taking large amounts of cocaine only makes people crave gloomy and irritable conversations with each other; I would suggest another dealer. These men in their mid 20s talk a great deal about whether and when they feel embarrassed or ashamed to be gay, and about coming out and the extent to which they are out. Which hasn't been my own experience of what English gay men in their mid 20s talk about with each other (yes, I've been one).

As well as a lack of plot, there is no cinematography to speak of that could be described as filmic. It could easily be made for TV, except there's deliberate camera shakiness and blurring. There's little in the way of a soundtrack.

The film is very well acted; the leads play their parts convincingly, it's the characters that lack interest. There is most of the time a strong sense of verisimilitude. And that has been the biggest source of praise for the film. But filming people talking on a bus would also have a sense of verisimilitude. The question is what would be the point? Where is the creativity? Are the leads being gay sufficient justification for the film? I certainly don't feel it told me anything about life, or made me see life in a slightly new way. The sense it brought to mind was of being stuck in a corner at a disappointing and dingy house party, being spoken to at length by someone dull, but being in two minds whether to leave yet as it's a long journey home and I'm not yet drunk, so I hang around.
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