“No one’s going to come see it because it’s about gay sex,” opines aspiring artist and film-maker Glen in Weekend. Perhaps he’s director Andrew Haigh’s mouthpiece. Is Weekend about gay sex? Well there are man-on-man scenes but to sidle it with that label is misleading. Weekend offers much more than the one-night-stand it at first appears to be. More
Amazing performances from leads Tom Cullen (Russell) and Chris New (Glen) give this budding romance an air of authenticity. The protective disguise of indifference barely conceals the surging interest and raw emotion brewing between this pair of opposites, getting to know each other over 48 hours: Russell, who is introspective and not entirely comfortable with his sexuality, and Glen, the say-it-how-it-is angry artist. At times their connection is so intimate it’s uncomfortable.
But the obscene sex banter is overshadowed by conversations of profound sadness and in that respect Weekend becomes a subtly political film. When Russell speaks of feeling like an outcast and Glen yearns for another life, away from the cloying reality he knows, the alienation both characters feel brings them closer.
Haigh never clobbers viewers over the head with the idea; he just points a camera on it. While Russell rides the tube, he’s inadvertently subjected to a crass discussion of what makes someone gay; he’s used to the bigots who shout profanities through his window.
Ebbing and flowing between literal highs and lows – from bars, parties, coke and weed to the grey streets of Nottingham and Russell’s uninspiring flat, Weekend is a film that feels like real life –sometimes dull, sometimes funny, and bittersweet. Hide