A poignant ‘Week-End’ in the city of love

Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan in a scene from director Roger Michell’s “Le Week-End.”
Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan in a scene from director Roger Michell’s “Le Week-End.”Music Box Films

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An arch, bittersweet, splendidly acted comedy, “Le Week-End” provides a preview of what a “Before Midnight” sequel might be like, should Richard Linklater ever make a fourth in that ongoing relationship saga. The main difference being that Meg (Lindsay Duncan), a schoolteacher, and her husband Nick (Jim Broadbent), a philosophy professor at a provincial university, make better company than the waspish pair that Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy’s characters have become. Not that they are any less antagonistic.

Traveling by train from London to Paris, where they plan to celebrate their anniversary, the two indulge in a familiar scene of grumpy discontent expected of couples who have been together for 30 years. Nick frets about losing the euros; Meg sighs, “I could lose you in a minute.” He is pathetic in his attentions; she recoils at his touch. Later he laments, “Your vagina has become a closed book to me.”

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