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Weekend

Weekend

Not rated, 96 min. Directed by Andrew Haigh. Starring Tom Cullen, Chris New.

REVIEWED By James Renovitch, Fri., Oct. 14, 2011

It's hard to classify a movie like Weekend. Can it be romantic and depict what amounts to a two-night stand? Can it be a coming-out story when the characters have technically exited the closet? Like the analogous Before Sunrise, Weekend manages to ride the line between character study, comedy, drama, and a host of other genres without feeling cramped. Russell (Cullen) is out but doesn't feel comfortable talking to his predominantly straight friends about his relationships. Glen (New), meanwhile, swings in a more homonormative social circle. When the two collide at a club, it sets off a romantic chain reaction that is as uniquely troubled as they are. Like Before Sunrise, the real joy of writer/director Andrew Haigh's film (which made its world premiere at South by Southwest 2011) is in watching two people make bedrooms, overpasses, kitchenettes, and couches feel alive with potent conversation and pregnant silences. As the end to the tumultuous weekend approaches, the camera dreads the impending loss as much as the characters. (An earlier version of this review appeared in the Chronicle’s daily SXSW coverage.)
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