“Weekend” is about two postmodern guys drifting through life in some unnamed city in England’s East Midlands. Russell (Tom Cullen) is a lifeguard at a swimming pool, but don’t expect to see him perched in Speedos like an iconic California surfer; his job is at a community center and not much fun. He lives in a concrete high-rise, which I took to be public housing, but he’s made it fairly nice within his means. (Recent British movies that don’t feature lords and ladies are nearly always about the bleakness of modern life. One can interpret this several ways.) He’s somewhat openly-Gay, his close Straight friends know and they’re the ones he mostly hangs out with; he’s not big on the Gay movement, which doesn’t fit him. Then he meets a guy named Glen (Chris New) who is filled with Gay fire.
This isn’t a political movie but a human one. Their encounter begins at a Gay bar; sex first, conversation after. The film is about their two-day conversation.
It turns out Glen, an art student, is moving to Portland, Oregon to enroll in studies, just as they begin to fall in love.
The film is available now on Netflix; if you belong, search there. Here is A.O. Scott’s rave review in The New York Times.
What made this a good Christmas night picture for me was the character of Russell; he gradually emerges as fundamentally honest and decent. He and Glen do a lot of drugs and clash repeatedly – Glen is a bit cynical and in-your-face – but they allow themselves to enter into a relationship, however brief it might be. They have a genuine encounter; they open up to each other.
I liked spending Christmas night with this film. I identified with Glen, but I fell in love with Russell.++
Filed under: gay |