Skip to main content

"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

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

"My Mind Turns Your Life Into Folklore": Why Taylor Swift's "Gold Rush" Is a Song About Songwriting

"My mind turns your life into folklore." That line, from the song "Gold Rush," is the only time the word "folklore" is spoken on either of Taylor Swift's 2020 records, Folklore and Evermore , the latter of which is where the song appears. The presence of the line indicates that "Gold Rush" is a pivotal song not only in Swift's lockdown duology, but in her maturation as a songwriter.  Swift's early albums often drew heavily from her own experiences, with fans and the media scouring her lyrics for clues as to which ex-boyfriend her numerous breakup songs referred. Her tumultuous dating life made as many headlines as her music, in part because it informed so much of the music. The discourse was often ridiculous and reductive, and thankfully, that period of her career is over (Swift has been in a relationship with the actor Joe Alwyn since 2016).  Both of her 2020 albums have their fair share of autobiographical songs, but they also see

Every Julie London Album Ranked

Last month, for school I had to write a long research paper about 17th century Flemish flower paintings, which was a bit outside my comfort zone. So, I needed writing music and a lot of it. After listening a bit to Amazon Music's playlist "Big Band Christmas", I came across the song "Warm in December" by Julie London. It was a name I'd heard before, but I knew next to nothing about her. But the song was good enough to send me to Wikipedia, where I learned that London released 30 albums in the 14 years between 1955 and 1969. Most of the material she recorded was standards, the kind I spent most of 2020 listening to, so I decided that listening to London's entire discography (in order) would be perfect for writing my paper. Now, the paper's done ( I got an A), and I'm left with many, many thoughts about Julie London.  A film actress before releasing her first album, Julie is Her Name , in 1955, London had a mega-hit single with "Cry Me a River

A Great Show Rushes to its End: "Mom" Finale Review

It's never easy to end a TV show, especially a long-running, beloved show like Mom . "My Kinda People and the Big To-Do," the last episode of Mom that aired May 13 on CBS, was a good episode. It was maybe even a great episode. But was it a satisfying series conclusion? No, not really. But we're getting ahead of ourselves. Before we talk about what didn't happen in the episode, let's talk about what did happen.  The episode begins at an AA meeting, as many episodes have. The ladies - Bonnie, Tammy, Jill, Marjorie, & Wendy - all share. They're all happy and in good places in their lives, much to the annoyance of newcomer Shannon (played by Melanie Lynskey, independent film mainstay whose sitcom credits include Chuck Lorre's Two and a Half Men ). Bonnie wants to help Shannon, as she had been helped by others when she too was new to the program, and even chases Shannon in the rain when she leaves the meeting. Later in the episode, we see Shannon'