Top critical review
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Wednesday is the highlight of the week.
on 6 February 2010
Jay is the product of a broken marriage, he has flashbacks of the time he spent with his family, and after returning from his job as a manager at a trendy bar, he languishes in his dingy flat.
The first part of the film focuses primarily on Jay, he analyses what he has with the woman he sleeps with every Wednesday but who is effectively a stranger to him. He concludes that the informal arrangement is a nothing more than a hassle, and then he starts to realise that she's all he's got. The film gets interesting when after following her he starts to unpick the details of her `real' life, it's only when he meets her family that he recognises that she's a bigger part of his world than he initially thought.
He invades her personal life when he inadvertently ends up on friendly terms with her other half. The scenes where he is spending time with her husband are incredibly tense, you're always aware that Jay is now in a weird state of mind as he is emotionally confused and seems to be playing mind games - offering hints at what he's been up to, as if he wants to be found out. The woman now ceases to be a stranger, Claire's life unfolds on screen and we see how her unrealised ambitions and dissatisfaction with her marriage are taking a toll on her mental wellbeing. Her story is more complicated than Jays and the second half of the film is more compelling to watch.
The film gained some notoriety because of the sexual content, but when viewed in context of the story - it doesn't seem overly explicit or graphic. Instead it almost appears quite sad, there's almost a sense of lingering regret after the moment has passed and reality of their situation returns. This shouldn't be dismissed as a film pre-occupied with sex, it's a film exploring what it means to the two involved and the after learning more about each other the physical act itself seems to benefit from an emotional edge which was always lacking. The performances by all are wonderfully bleak and capture the mood of the situation, although it might seem like a far fetched set of scenarios; Mark Rylance and Kerry Fox are completely believable and the film looks absolutely plausible. This isn't a romantic film, everyone seems to be a victim at some level and Timothy Spall shows again that he is always capable of providing a strong presence even when his time in a scene is minimal.
In a nutshell: This film explores how sex without intimacy provides physical relief but leads to a want for something more satisfying, something fulfilling on an emotional level. The film meanders between the bland and the intense - it manages to be thought provoking but at times only just maintains your interest.