Overview A couple goes to Paris for their 30th wedding anniversary and it becomes questionable if they may make it to their 31st. Trigger Warning: Emotional Abuse Review (with Spoilers) Since Moulin Rouge! I have found Jim Broadbent to be a fantastically odd actor. And while I will admit I haven’t seen every last film…


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Le week end

Overview

A couple goes to Paris for their 30th wedding anniversary and it becomes questionable if they may make it to their 31st.

Trigger Warning: Emotional Abuse

Review (with Spoilers)

Since Moulin Rouge! I have found Jim Broadbent to be a fantastically odd actor. And while I will admit I haven’t seen every last film he has been in since his role as Harold Zidler, it seems every time I saw him he was some eccentric character who easily became one of the film’s highlights. So upon seeing his name attached to a drama film, I thought perhaps I should give him a chance in a role in which he is trying to play someone serious, and I’m quite glad I did.

Characters & Story

To celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary, Nick (Jim Broadbent) and Meg (Lindsay Duncan) head to Paris, the city of love. A place where we learn how absent love maybe in their relationship. For as much as you can see Nick loves Meg, and wants to be intimate with her, it seems Meg isn’t as in love with Nick as she perhaps once was. She criticizes him harshly while giving him only a slight tease of sweetness, and as the movie goes on you can see the man’s self-esteem has likely been beaten to its foundation since, at the end of the day, Meg just isn’t happy. But, the question remains: will their marital problems of the present mean their 30th anniversary will be their last, or will they work things out and hopefully make it to their 31st?

Praise

I must admit my praise does come with me having to rethink it as I go along, if just because as much as I love the dynamic between Duncan and Broadbent, watching them does become depressing at times. If just because Duncan’s portrayal of Meg is just so vicious that you feel sorry for poor Nick within 10 minutes. For not only is Meg hard to please, but seemingly on the verge of a mid-life crisis and stuck with this man who seems to be game with her new life changes, but only because the idea of being alone terrifies him. And often their relationship seems as uncomfortable for them as it is for you. Perhaps leading you to wonder why this isn’t part of the critique? Well, I’m praising it because their relationship is so complicated that you can tell these two have been together for 30 years. You can visibly see Nick has become comfortable with her demeaning him, teasing him, and perhaps never becoming fully satisfied with who he is. Then, on the other end of things, you can see that Meg sort of likes how Nick still sticks in there with her and repeatedly makes her feel desirable and wanted. So just as much as the two can make you feel depressed by the concept of being with someone 30 years and it becoming like their relationship, at the same time it shows this complexity which allows you to understand how no matter what Meg may say to Nick, and what he may have done in the past, or says in the present, there remains this sense of love between the two buried underneath it all.

Criticism

But, even with that said, truly until you reach almost near the end of the film when Morgan (Jeff Goldblum) comes about, this film can be slightly unbearable. For while you understand in the end how Meg and Nick’s relationship works, until then it is really hard to see this old man damn near begging his wife for the affection she seems unwilling to give. And then when it comes to the insults she flings at Nick! Oh, none of them are good-natured, “I mean what I say, but I’m going to say it in a nice way so your feelings don’t get hurt.” No, Meg says the type of things of which I’m sure if Nick was younger, and thought more highly of himself, he would probably seek a divorce for Meg is emotionally abusive. And honestly, I found what she said so bad that I felt a trigger warning was needed in case someone had an emotionally abusive partner in the past.

Overall: TV Viewing

While this is a good movie with excellent performances, Meg makes it hard to say this is “Worth Seeing.” If just because she is the type of character who triggers either pent up anger for Nick not really fighting back, or some sense of depression for you can see Nick is beaten and bruised but has no one else to turn to when it comes to buttering him up. And while Morgan does this to a point, he isn’t Nick’s wife. But perhaps the main reason I’m marking this as TV Viewing is because it really does take a while to get into the story and get past Meg’s abuse and understand the relationship dynamic.

Thoughts Since Original Posting

Considering the reaction Meg seemed to have gotten out of me, perhaps this is Worth Seeing. I don’t have a strong memory of this film, but it seemed she left quite the impression.


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