Two Days, One Night
Sandra is a young woman who has only one weekend to convince her colleagues they must give up their bonuses in order for her to keep her job — not an easy task in this economy.
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★★★★★ review by Eli Hayes on Letterboxd
Yet another masterpiece of a sociological study from the Dardenne brothers/geniuses. If you are a fan of their work, you will LOVE this film! It's one of their best - even better than The Kid with a Bike, right up there with their late 90s stuff like La Promesse and Rosetta. Marion Cotillard delivers her newest powerhouse performance; with Rust and Bone, The Immigrant and now this under her belt, I'm certain that she's one of the greatest international actors out there and I can't wait to see what she does next. The cinematography has that Dardenne pure-grittiness that I'm sure you're used to if you're familiar with the brothers' works - long, close tracking shots and no fancy tricks, perfectly complimenting the realism. But what is possibly my favorite aspect of the film is that, aside from being a brilliant study of human beings' reactions to monetary issues/issues of economics, it also works extremely well as a character study of an emotionally unstable person and her struggle to escape loneliness. One of the best films of the year.
★★★★ review by CinemaClown on Letterboxd
When Marion Cotillard isn't starring in a Christopher Nolan film, she is busy proving the world why she is one of the best actresses working in the film industry today. And in this Dardenne brothers' latest work, the effortless finesse with which Cotillard commands the screen to deliver yet another career-highlight performance is no short of astonishing.
The story of Two Days, One Night is set in Belgium and concerns Sandra; a young wife & mother of two, who finds out that her co-workers have decided to opt for a significant pay bonus in exchange for her dismissal. Managing to coerce her boss for a secret ballot that will decide her fate with the company, she only has the weekend to persuade her co-workers to change their minds.
Written, produced & directed by Dardenne brothers, this is my first stint with their works and I've to say that it's a pretty impressive start. The film has an astounding level of simplicity in its narration and never for once tries to overdo any of its aspects. Camerawork is excellently handled for it follows our character like a silent observer while its 95 minutes of runtime simply flies by.
Coming to the performances, this is Marion Cotillard show all the way and she does a terrific job at it. The way she manages to say so much just by her expressions, walking style, tiredness & the quite-identifiable sense of hopelessness while keeping herself grounded from beginning to end, it's a performance that's truly a pleasure to watch and is definitely one of the best on-screen works of the year.
There's no denying that its plot becomes repetitive over the course of its runtime but the story nonetheless remains pretty engaging till the end. There's no amount of sugarcoating or pretension or technical experimentation to be found here, none of those distracting elements exist in this film, and what its aspects are always focused at is in serving its story & characters.
On an overall scale, Two Days, One Night is a masterwork of quality storytelling that does benefit from Dardenne brothers' neat presentation but what elevates it to the next level is Cotillard's outstanding performance. Artistically subtle, painfully honest & technically refined from start to finish, this Belgian flick is storytelling at its most elegant. Definitely worth a shot.
★★★★★ review by josh lewis on Letterboxd
the emotional strain, alienation and indignity of precarious labor vs. the emotional capacity and strength of solidarity. the minute details of each interaction sandra has with her coworkers and how they formally stack and repeat is harrowing, "it'll be a disaster for me if the majority backs you but for your sake i hope that they do." 😭😭
★★★★½ review by davidehrlich on Letterboxd
ugh, just another stone cold Dardennes bros masterpiece. WHOOPTY FUCKING DOO.
seriously, if they can make Marion Cotillard great, they are truly *the* masters of the medium. all hail.
also, kudos for finding new ways to get me to marvel at Olivier Gourmet. that can't have been easy.
i'll be back.
★★★★½ review by Mike D'Angelo on Letterboxd
The Dissolve review. Second viewing, no change, except that this time I was either on the verge of or actually in tears pretty much start to finish.
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