Two Days, One Night
March 23, 2015
Showings 4:30, 7:00 and 9:10pm
French with English subtitles
Rated PG | Drama | 95 minutes
In the new film from master filmmakers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, a working-class Belgian mother (Marion Cotillard, The Immigrant, Rust and Bone) loses her job but has a fighting chance — and one weekend — to get it back.
Almost immediately after returning to her factory job following a mental health leave, Sandra (Cotillard) is laid off because her fellow workers voted to receive a bonus rather than keep her as the seventeenth person on the team. When she learns that their team leader persuaded them to vote against her under false pretenses, Sandra convinces the plant manager to hold a second, secret vote. It’s now Friday afternoon, leaving Sandra only two days and one night to save her job and, quite possibly, the life her family knows. Swallowing her pride, Sandra sets out with her loving husband (Fabrizio Rongione, The Kid With a Bike, Rosetta) to convince her sixteen co-workers, one by one, to vote in her favour. Featuring cinematography by Dardennes regular Alain Marcoen, Two Days, One Night is executed in the duo’s signature naturalist style. The story’s events unfold in real time through long takes and hand-held shots, enveloping us in Sandra’s world and putting a human face on Europe’s economic crisis. Cotillard does brilliantly subtle work here as Sandra, always giving us a glimpse of what lies beneath. Despite the high stakes and mounting tension around Sandra’s situation, we’re reminded that — whether it’s enjoying an ice cream in the park, finding a killer song on the radio, or the simple act of listening to others — there’s much that can be accomplished, and savoured, in two days and one night.
The Dardenne brothers take on a movie star and lose none of their beautifully observed verisimilitude in another powerhouse slice of working-class Belgian life.
—Scott Foundas, Variety