How to do the impossible in “Two Days, One Night” (2014.)


Original Title:  Deux jours, une nuit

Imagine that you have to go to work after you were sick. You don’t know what you’ll find at work but you know that your job will still be there – or won’t. That’s precisely what happened to Sandra in “Two Days, One Night”.

After her colleagues are faced with a choice they must decide: Will they earn a 1000 € bonus or will Sandra come to work? Choice is difficult. There are 16 voters and first voting wasn’t good for Sandra. After brave conflict with the CEO, Sandra forced the second voting but it’s only “Two Days, One Night” left to convince them to change their vote. Her existence is on the line, her pride and humanity shattered. What will be? Will Sandra succeed? Will voters find enough compassion in themselves to vote differently? Is 1000 € something that they can afford to give up? All these questions are asked in brilliantly crafted movie of Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne “Two Days, One Night”.

Sandra had depression, she’s coping with her children and her husband. On the top of it all now she must cope with impossible task. It is not easy to knock on every door and ask “Hey, could you think about refusing the bonus and keep me working?” All of her colleagues have lives too… All of them have difficulties and outcome isn’t clear for anyone. You can’t predict anything in this film, although the plot may seem fairly simple. It’s not. Social drama at its highest is one of the best European movies of the year. Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne did it again, after haunting “Kid on a Bike” few years earlier.

Acting performance of Marion Cotillard is the acting class for anyone. She’s wonderful in that simple working-class surroundings and her physical appeal comes even more to the spotlight without make-up, sex-appeal and costumes (as in some of her recent films). Marion Cotillard is diva already, and after “Rust and Bone” this is her best performance I’ve ever seen. She’s nominated for the “Oscar” in the Lead actress category and her nomination is justified with probably the most detailed performance of all the actresses nominated this year which I had the privilege to see. Rosamund Pike in “Gone Girl” and Marion Cotillard in this movie gave the best performances I’ve seen so far (I still have to see “Wild” and Reese Witherspoon). I’m not so mesmerized with Julianne Moore and “Still Alice”, compared with this great piece of acting. Although undoubtedly great Moore seems to me more like Oscar-fishing that any of the mentioned performances.

“Two Days, One Night” is wonderfully crafted movie with great performance of the main actress, strong plot and suggestive direction of Dardenne brothers. Academy failed to recognize the movie and “Two Days, One Night” wasn’t nominated in the Foreign film category but it is still one of the best European films out there. I highly recommend it. Its social criticism and compassion for the main character are its greatest power.



Rating: 8/10


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