Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 28, No. 22, Ed. 1 Friday, October 14, 2011 Page: 22 of 48
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YOU GOT THE HOOK UP | A one-night-stand becomes something more for Russeil (Tom Cullen, left)
and Glen (Chris New) in the raw English drama 'Weekend.'
I QUEER, From Page 20
lemon meringue pie. As the two jockey for the
dad's affection, the kitchen becomes a sort of bat-
tleground of wills.
Kennedy plays Nigel in the first half with
guileless charm; Freddie Highmore (Finding
Neverland, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) takes
over as the teenaged Nigel, showing tenderness
as he gets his first kiss from a puppy love crush.
It's portrayed as something as delicate and sweet
as a caramel tuile — a fitting metaphor for a film
that gorges you on its beauty and
fondness for food. That's some-
thing to raise a toast to.
You get a very different view of
Britain and the gay experience with Weekend, an
edgy, almost shapeless gay romance that crack-
les with familiarity even as it paints a detailed,
specific portrait of average men trying to con-
Russell (Tom Cullen) is a crack-smoking,
working class English bloke hangin' and
drinkin' with his straight mates before hitting a
gay bar for some quick action. He meets Glen
(Chris New1), an otter whom he assumes will be
a one-night stand before heading off to work on
Saturday morning. But Glen wants to turn the
hook-up into an art project, asking Russell to
record his experience. When Glen's probing
^ online exclusive
Tom Cullen, Chris New. Rated R.
95 mins. Now playing at
^Landmark's Magnolia Theatre./
For more reviews of more fil ms
opening this weekend, includ-
ing The Thing, pictured, and In-
cendiary, visit DallasVoice.com/
questions make Russell uncomfortable ("Are
you completely out? Do you wish my dick was
bigger?"), Russell's bourgeois sensibilities
Writer-director Andrew Haigh has captured
an authenticity of the modern gay experience
with an off-handed, sharply observed eye. He
shows an extended segment of Russell toying
with texting Glen to apologize, feeling pangs of
guilt but also curiosity and self-reflection — a
process that will strike a note of familiarity with
anyone on the dating scene today.
Weekend conjures moments of
early Gus Van Sant, like My
Own Private Idaho and Drugstore
Cmvlm/: It's full of textures and
naturalistic moments that feel
unforced. Haigh is a master of
long takes that are voyeuristic without seeming
prurient. When Glen and Russell meet up again,
their banter is both meaningless and confes-
sional, which creates a palpable tension. Their
body language points to hormones racing, but
they are determined not to make this relation-
ship only about sex, even though the sexual en-
ergy is undeniable. This makes the scenes
romantic and erotic, and when they explode with
passion, you don't feel like the director has in-
serted a de rigiieur sex scene, but encapsulated
the dynamics of the hookup-turned-real-rela-
tionship dance (including the slightly scary ob-
sessiveness of "Is this the one?" angst).
Cullen and New have great chemistry and an
easy way with the rambling dialogue, but this is
Haigh's movie. Because it's fairly raw (there's
lots of casual frontal nudity), it's not the kind of
film likely to be a crossover hit with straight au-
diences, but neither does it ooze "gay-ghetto
movie," the kind that assumes a small, lemming-
like audience who can get titillated and forget
about it. Like the Irish romance Once, it rings
tru th out of every frame. ■
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Nash, Tammye. Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 28, No. 22, Ed. 1 Friday, October 14, 2011, newspaper, October 14, 2011; Dallas, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth239189/m1/22/: accessed January 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.