Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

  • 18
  • Drama, Romance
  • 2011
  • 97 mins


Film4 Weekend


Relationship drama exploring the dynamic between two men over a single weekend in Nottingham.

Critic's Review

In Weekend, Tom Cullen and Chris New both give superb performances as a couple of blokes who get together for a weekend in Nottingham, unexpectedly deriving more from the encounter than either had expected. Cullen's character, a gentle lifeguard, is most people's way into the film - he's more obviously the introvert; he's more awkward, perhaps seemingly more soulful - and cinema loves such characters; we want to see them break out of their shell and overcome whatever is holding them back.

But, whether in comedy, romance or even thrillers, to do this they require a catalyst, a do-er, a cajoler, an agitator. This is where New's livewire artist comes in. I first saw New perform onstage in an RSC production of Twelfth Night which wittily cross-cast the already cross-dressing role of Viola, a girl who spends most of the play acting as pageboy "Cesario". He was a boy playing a girl playing a boy.

New was fantastic in the role and I've never forgotten it. In Weekend he essays another role in which he gets to play with what society may expect from his gender and orientation, in this case making a very forthright case for the bragging rights of the gay man - crucially, the possibility of exercising those rights outside ghettoised 'safe' zones.

Here, New plays a man who feels he is invited by society to play the eunuch, the "acceptable" gay man, when actually, he feels the same impulse as many straight men to talk openly about sex, and with as little reticence. If straight men are allowed to parade their sexuality, rubbing it in people's faces through braggadocio and (putting it more kindly) simple openness, then, this character's argument runs, why not gay men too? Why is the faux-tolerant attitude "they can do what they like so long as I don’t have to hear about it" more acceptable as regards same-sex relationships than relationships with somebody of the opposite sex? It's an argument that may also strike a chord with women, since the expression of female sexuality is still subject to different expectations in so many cultural spaces - witness the reception of bawdy comedy Bridesmaids, which was no cruder a film than many that had gone before it, but had a mainly female cast.

And yet, this is not an "issues" movie. It's a delicate and frequently amusing portrait of two people finding and possibly losing each other. It's as realistically romantic as they come, and ultimately deserves all the praise coming its way, regardless of what that praise may, ironically enough, say about the truth of some of the film's arguments.

In a nutshell: A great date movie for those of an independent persuasion, Weekend has romance to spare, but also takes a look at the cogs turning under the surface of any thoughtful encounter, however brief.

Cast & Connections

  • Actor: Tom Cullen, Chris New
  • Director: Andrew Haigh
  • Writer: Andrew Haigh
  • Producer: Tristan Goligher

Latest from Film4...

  • Film4


    AnnaLynne McCord stars as a teenager with an unhealthy fascination with gore and surgery.

  • Film4

    100 Bloody Acres

    A gloriously gory, side-splittingly funny horror from Down Under.

  • Film4

    FilmFear on Film4

    This Halloween, Film4 becomes FilmFear. Join us for seven nights of petrifying premieres and classics from the crypt.

  • Film4

    Black Mountain Poets on Film4

    Alice Lowe and Dolly Wells star in writer-director Jamie Adams' hilarious improvised comedy-drama

  • Channel 4 Blog

    TIFF 2016: Top Ten Editor Michael Leader runs through ten standouts from the Toronto International Film Festival...   The Oath I'd already seen three of the four Film4-backed films screening in Toronto (inc

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Baltasar Kormakur on The Oath

    As his Film4-backed Icelandic thriller The Oath premieres in Toronto, director/writer/actor Baltasar Kormakur speaks with editor Michael Leader about making films in Hollywood, returning to

Register with

Personalise your Film4 experience

  • Set film reminders
  • Build your watchlist
  • Get film suggestions

or Register

Tweets @Film4

  • "This is the universe. Big, isn't it?" A Matter Of Life And Death is at 11am.

  • RT @TheMovieScene: #OnTVToday @Film4 A Matter of Life and Death 11:00

  • Night owls with musical inclinations best tune in at 12.40am for our late night music doc: Kevin Macdonald's look at the life of Bob Marley.

  • "I am driven by curiosity..." Kevin Macdonald (whose music doc Marley screens at 12.40am) looks back on his career.…

  • Indie comedy-drama Black Mountain Poets from Jamie Adams, starring Alice Lowe, Dolly Wells and Tom Cullen, is start…