Weekend (2011 film)
||This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (December 2012)|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Andrew Haigh|
|Produced by||Tristan Goligher|
|Written by||Andrew Haigh|
|Music by||James Edward Barker|
|Editing by||Andrew Haigh|
|Distributed by||Peccadillo Pictures (UK)
Sundance Selects (US)
|Running time||97 minutes|
|Box office||$1,030,231 (Worldwide)|
Weekend is a 2011 British romantic drama film directed by Andrew Haigh. The film stars Tom Cullen and Chris New as two men who meet and begin a sexual relationship the week before one of them plans to leave the country.
On a Friday night in Nottingham, after a house party with his friends, Russell heads out to a gay club, alone and looking for an encounter. Just before closing time he meets Glen, a student artist, and they end up having sex back at Russell's apartment. The next morning, Glen has Russell speak into a voice recorder about their experience. Glen says this is for an art project. After Glen leaves, Russell writes about Glen on his laptop, something he does about each of the men he has seen.
Russell, who works as a lifeguard, feels lonely about his lot in life. The next day Glen and Russell meet up and the two ride Russell's bike together. Back at Russell's apartment, they spend the day together, sharing stories of their past encounters and their experiences as gay men. Russell confides to Glen how he grew up in a foster home with a friend, Jamie, whom he considers as his brother.
Russell learns that Glen is leaving for Oregon the next day for a two-year art course. This leaves Russell upset. Glen invites him to attend a party he is throwing in a bar that night. Instead of forgetting his developing relationship with Glen, Russell goes to see him in the bar. Russell chats with a friend of Glen's, who reveals that Glen never let her listen to Russell's tape and that Glen usually lets her listen to all of them. She says that she and her friends don't expect Glen to follow through with his America trip, and also that Glen had a relationship with a guy named John, who cheated on him but became a martyr in their relationship and how he got beaten up in the park.
The pair get out of the bar and spend their time in the amusement park where Glen admits that he is never happy and feels down whenever he's with his friends. When they get back to Russell's place, they smoke marijuana and snort cocaine. At one point, Russel admits to Glen that he has something similar to Glen's art project, but his is not for anyone else. He reads some of his entries to Glen. It is revealed that one of the men Russell had slept with had been John, Glen's ex-boyfriend. Glen tries to laugh it off saying "he'd love this" – referring to his ex. It is not long before they have an argument as Glen speculates that things would be better for him in America, rather than in England. Russell believes they could be happy together, in a relationship. Russell then rebukes Glen for his relationship with John in that John made it difficult for Glen to trust others. Glen then strikes back at Russell telling him that he doesn't know anything about his life and that John couldn't even stand up for himself. This upsets Russell and he leaves to the bathroom.
However, Russell and Glen are reconciled, and soon they passionately share a kiss and sleep together. In the morning, they play a game where Glen pretends to be Russell's father where he could finally come out to him (a chance Russell never had as he never met his father). After Glen leaves, Russell feels desolate and goes to attend the birthday party of his friend Jamie's daughter. Jamie asks him what is wrong and, after some hesitation, Russell finally explains about Glen. Jamie suggests he drop Russell off at the train station to see Glen off. Jamie then drives Russell to the train station, where he chances upon Glen – who jokes how he expected him to show up. They say their last goodbyes and Glen kisses Russell, who finally overcomes his fear of being "out" in public. Glen hands Russell a present, which was the voice recorder on which Glen had earlier recorded Russell's account of how they met and their first encounter.
- Tom Cullen as Russell
- Chris New as Glen
- Jonathan Race as Jamie
- Laura Freeman as Jill
- Loretto Murray as Cathy
- Johnathan Wright as Johnny
- Sarah Churm as Helen
- Vaxuhall Jermaine as Damien
- Joe Doherty as Justin
- Kieran Hardcastle as Sam
During a Q&A session at the IFI in Dublin on 11 November 2011, Director Andrew Haigh said the film's budget was "around 120,000" — not specifying a currency.
According to Cullen, much of the action and dialogue was improvised: "Andrew, Chris and I really tore the script to pieces... I could literally throw anything at [Chris New] and he would respond accordingly. When we started each scene, we were never entirely sure where it would go."
Weekend received its world premiere at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas, in March 2011. It went on to screen in other North American festivals, including Maryland Film Festival. It was theatrically released in the United States on 23 September 2011, and in the United Kingdom on 4 November 2011.
Weekend has been critically acclaimed. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes reports that 95% of critics have given the film a positive review based on 72 reviews, with an average score of 8/10. Roger Ebert described it as "a smart, sensitive, perceptive film, with actors well suited to the dialogue."
Awards and nominations
- SXSW Film Festival — Audience Award Emerging Visions
- Nashville Film Festival — Grand Jury for Best Film and Best Actor Tom Cullen
- Toronto Inside Out LGBT Film Festival — Audience Award Best Film
- Frameline, San Francisco Gay and Lesbian Film festival – Best Film Award
- Outfest Los Angeles — Grand Jury Prize for International Feature
- Oslo Gay and Lesbian Film Festival — Winner Grand Jury Prize & Audience Award
- BFI London Film Festival — Tom Cullen & Chris New nominated for Best Newcomer
- British Independent Film Awards — Winner Most Promising Newcomer Tom Cullen
- Chlotrudis Society for Independent Film — Tom Cullen & Chris New nominated for Best Actor
- Crossing Europe Film Festival winner of the audience award
A "director-approved special edition" of Weekend was released in Region A/1 by The Criterion Collection, on both DVD and Blu-ray, on 21 August 2012. The release includes a high-definition digital master of the film; new interviews with cast and crew; two of Cullen and New's joint audition scenes; two short films by Haigh: Cahuenga Blvd. (2003) and Five Miles Out (2009); and additional features.
- "WEEKEND (18)". British Board of Film Classification. 4 October 2011. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
- "Weekend (2011)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
- Kee Chang (23 September 2011). "Q&A with Tom Cullen". Anthem Magazine. Retrieved 3 May 2013.
- "SXSW Film Announces 2011 Features Lineup". sxsw.com. 2 February 2011. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
- "Weekend". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
- Roger Ebert (28 September 2011). "Weekend". Retrieved 2 May 2013.
- "Awards". Weekend-film.com. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
- "PREISTRÄGER 2012" (in German). Crossing Europe Film Festival. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
- "Weekend". The Criterion Collection,. Archived from the original on 23 August 2012