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"Two Days, One Night" Film Review

Film Review: "Two Days, One Night"


"Two Days, One Night", the latest film from Jean Pierre and Luc Dardenne, continues the Belgian filmmakers' tradition of depicting working class life in Belgium. Perhaps Marion Cotillard, the international movie star synonymous with glamour, was an odd choice to star in their latest film. But not only does Ms. Cotillard give the most human performance of the year, every sigh, every gesture, and every look is completely believable of a woman facing extraordinary circumstances.
  
The premise is that Sandra (Cotillard) is ready to return to work after being away due to depression, but the company can operate without her.  Her coworkers are posed with a question; do they vote to let Sandra keep her job, or vote to keep their promised bonuses.  After all but two vote against Sandra, she convinces her boss to do a revote, and has one weekend to convince her coworkers to change their minds. 

The interactions Sandra has with her coworkers make up the majority of the film. These scenes are tense and awkward as the coworkers explain why they need the money, and as Sandra fights for her dignity, while fighting for her job. It's an interesting examination of working class struggles. All of the coworkers need the money to get by, just as Sandra and her family, need her paycheck. Many choose the option that helps them, instead of facing their problems as a collective group. The premise sets up an interesting question about the modern world; has money become more important than community? 

The film provides a fascinating portrait of a woman facing an impossible challenge, and Ms. Cotillard is remarkable in the role. This one should not be missed.

TimScale: 72/100

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