Weekends (2017) Oscar Nominated Short Film Review

Weekends 2019 Oscar Nominee

Weekends (2017)
Director: Trevor Jimenez
Screenwriter: Trevor Jimenez

Trevor Jimenez’s Oscar-nominated animated short film, brought to the screen by Past Lives Productions, is an inventive piece of cinema that speaks in metaphor to the parts of us that grow and adapt to periods of profound change while honouring the parts of us that never want to grow up; the parts of us that will forever pursue more and never stop wishing.

This melancholic tale of a young boy spending weekdays with his mother and weekends with his father, as his separated parents begin to move on from one another, peers into the eyes of the young child at the centre of the piece as he deals with his parents’ shifting priorities, the picture presented as if seen through his eyes in the form of story book animation featuring some imaginative, subtle exaggeration that enforces the presentation of what it’s like to see the world with such innocence and admiration.

Weekends truly speaks to the child in each of us, reminding us of the time in which we too saw the world with such vivid imagination and an overwhelming sense of loyalty and love towards our parents. Its moments saunter through each sequence as if a memory, the focus of each scene being precisely as monumental as any childhood memory can be and the overall impact of the piece thus increased in-turn. The child is identifiable in his innocence, the parents both loving and wicked just as any child can find them to be, their issues brought to the forefront of the story in pursuit of what their impact may be on the child and nothing more. It is well focused storytelling given flair by the imaginative metaphors at its heart and the bravery of its creators.

At 15 minutes, Weekends is one of the longer films in the Oscars’ Animated Short category in 2019, but it doesn’t feel like it. The time flies as early intrigue evolves into a genuine pursuit of understanding and a loyalty to the film’s subject, a mix of licensed classical music and rock ‘n’ roll bringing to life the juxtapositions between parents, both as people and in terms of their parenting, the very presence of such music once again reinforcing the idea of childhood as a blur – a song here or a few notes there, a memory or a dream of a time when something may or may not have happened.

Weekends is hardly as accessible as Pixar’s Bao in terms of the 2019 nominees, but it has certainly got a lot going for it in departure from the Pixar way. The animation is unique, the choices made within it at times spectacular. The characterisation does wonders to provide an entry point to each of the characters and there’s a real sense of stoicism behind every transition sequence that gifts the film a wonderful melancholia that in turn breeds new hope.

Trevor Jimenez and his team have created a story book come to life, complete with dream-like sequences born out of fantasy and moments of true skin-crawling horror. Weekends is a story worthy of being shared, the artistry behind it worthy of being commended. We are so often bombarded with pieces of cinema we ponder as to why exactly they are made, but with Weekends it is less about why and more about the experience; an experience in artistry and creation that will keep you hooked the entire time.

20/24