Weekend (18)

Starring: Tom Cullen, Chris New

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The Independent Culture

Andrew Haigh's story of strangers meeting reveals a keen but unassuming intelligence as it explores the emotional reverberations of a brief encounter.

 Russell (Tom Cullen), bashful and hesitant, goes cruising on a Friday night and ends up in bed with Glen (Chris New), whose mouthy self-confidence hides a restless spirit. Over a weekend the two get to know one another, not just through sex but in their wary, low-key conversations about honesty, commitment and bad breath. The two leads are excellent – Cullen's understated charm is particularly winning – and Haigh's feel for the drab architectural beauty of a provincial city (Nottingham) goes deep. It has a naturalistic warmth similar to Jamie Thraves's loose-limbed The Low Down (2000), and lacks only a more decisive and pointed third act. Haigh already looks like a talent to watch.