The Dardenne brothers consistently make compelling dramas that win awards, from Rosetta (1999) to The Kid With a Bike (2011), and this drama might be their best yet. It takes a simple premise and twists it into a comment on the changing structure of global society, all while never losing the intensely personal perspective. It's never a statement film, but it says much more than movies that shout their messages loudly.
The central character is Sandra (Marion Cotillard), who has just returned to work after an emotional breakdown. Then she's left stunned when her boss (Baptiste Sornin) calls a vote on a Friday afternoon, and employees choose to make Sandra redundant so they can keep their €1,000 bonuses. Her friend Juliette (Catherine Salee) gets the boss to agree to re-run the vote on Monday by secret ballot, which gives Sandra the weekend to sway people to save her job, which she desperately needs to keep her family afloat. Her husband Manu (Fabrizio Rongione) accompanies her on this degrading task, begging her colleagues one by one to give up their cash for her. And it's almost more than she can bear. For every thrilling surge of compassion she feels, there's another worker who coldly refuses her pleas.
Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne based the film on a real scenario, which is awful to imagine. Indeed, most of the film's characters express horror at the unfairness of the situation, but Sandra and Manu just have to get on with things in a matter-of-fact way that grounds the film in earthy emotion and, thankfully, wry humour. Cotillard gives another fully invested performances as a woman barely keeping a grip on herself, let alone finding the reserves needed to take care of her kids. She hides her true feelings from everyone as long as she can, and her main flaw seems to be an inability to see that she has a husband and colleagues who genuinely care about her. She's not facing this seemingly hopeless situation alone.
Continue reading: Two Days, One Night Review
‘Two Days, One Night’ (‘Deux Jours, Une Nuit’) has gained positive reviews from the world’s press following its premiere in Cannes yesterday (20th May).
Marion Cotillard has impressed critics with her performance in Two Days, One Night ‘Deux Jours, Une Nuit’ after the film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival on Tuesday (20th May).
Marion Cotillard shined as much in the film as at the premiere of Two Days, One Night.
The film centres on Sandra (Cotillard), a working class woman who, with the threat of unemployment looming, is forced to ask her colleagues to give up their bonuses so she can keep her job. Sandra is aided in her quest by her husband Manu, played by Un village français actor Fabrizio Rongione.
Director Luc Dardenne (l-r), actors Fabrizio Rongione and Marion Co - The 67th Annual Cannes Film Festival - 'Two Days, One Night' (Deux Jours, Une Nuit) - Premiere - Cannes, France - Tuesday 20th May 2014
Jean -Pierre & Luc Dardenne present their new slice-of-life movie at Cannes.
Two Days, One Night (or 'Deux Jours, Une Nuit') has premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and has emerged as one of the most praised films of the competition so far. Starring Marion Cotillard in the lead role, the Dardenne brothers film centres on Sandra, a woman who returns to work at a solar panel factory after a breakdown to discover that her job has been replaced by $1000 bonuses given to the other workers.
Marion Cotillard's New Film, 'Deux Jours, Une Nuit' Has Premiered At Cannes.
Desperate, the wife and mother urges her staff rep Jean-Marc (Olivier Gourmet) to hold a vote for the workers to decide whether they'd prefer their bonus or their colleague. With the vote set for Monday morning, Sandra has just the weekend to hunt down each of her co-workers and beg them to vote in her favour whilst she battles her returning depression symptoms.