An absorbingly detailed snapshot of a troubled family, Home for the Weekend is distinguished by the smart psychological observation of Bernd Lange’s screenplay and the precision and restraint of Hans-Christian Schmid’s direction.
At the centre of the portrait is an intelligently contained performance from Lars Eidinger as Marko, an author in his mid-thirties. The main action takes place over a weekend when Marko’s parents are announcing big changes. His father Günther (Ernst Stötzner) has sold his publishing house. The real news, however, is that Marko’s mother, Gitte (Corinna Harfouch – Perfume, Downfall), has stopped taking her medication after 30 years of treatment for manic depression. That may look like the groundwork for a predictable scenario, but Lange’s sober, reflective script avoids going down obvious roads.
Lange and Schmid are careful to sidestep the clichés of depression drama, eschewing the expected meltdown in favour of devastating steps taken off-camera. Economic use of music by indie band The Notwist adds to the rewardingly subdued nature of the film, and limber, mostly handheld camerawork encapsulates the keen balance of this satisfying drama between immersive scrutiny and thoughtful detachment.
David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter
Presented in co-operation with the Goethe-Institut Irland International