Two Days, One Night, film review: Marion Cotillard earns the Dardennes' vote
(15) Dir. Jean-Pierre + Luc Dardenne; Starring Marion Cotillard, Fabrizio Rongione, 95mins
Saturday 23 August 2014
Sandra (Marion Cotillard) worked in a solar-panel manufacturing company in an industrial Belgian town before having to take time off due to depression.
Upon declaring herself fit to work again, she finds that her 16 co-workers have been offered a €1,000 bonus on the condition of voting to make her position redundant. She has the weekend of the title in which to chase around town, visit them at their homes and implore them to vote against their own financial interests in order to save her job.
The Dardenne brothers' latest social-realist drama only has a simple story, then, but it is about a lot of things, and perfectly made to a human scale. It is about miserable labour relations, as well as the stress that financial worry puts on Sandra's marriage. Stress that also causes her to consume Xanax at a worrying rate over the course of the weekend, and the drama to steadily build with each encounter.
Everyone in this film is in an unenvious position, and her co-workers react with sympathetic tears, hard-hearted violence and everything in between. You can't tell, beforehand, which way it's gong to go. All this for a job Sandra probably won't much enjoy going back to even if she is given the chance.
Cotillard's performance as this variously vulnerable and defiant but quite ordinary cinematic heroine is unshowy and beautifully judged. The film-making is similarly controlled; compassionate and angry without editorialising; unrushed while making sure that every moment counts.
Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 2 Replica Back to the Future Hoverboard released
- 3 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
- 4 Dylan Moran on quitting smoking, being about as sexy as the Pope and why comedy panel programmes are 'c*ck shows'
- 5 Modern society encapsulated in five seconds
Poldark, review: Demelza’s insouciance is almost as impressive as Ross’ pecs
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
Menstruation-themed photo series artist 'censored by Instagram' says images are to demystify taboos around periods
James May hints he will not continue on Top Gear without Jeremy Clarkson
Jeremy Clarkson Top Gear return: Suspended host set for live event in Norway next week
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans