While recovering from mental health problems, Sandra (Marion Cotillard) tries to convince her co-workers to reject their bonuses or she will lose her job. One of the Dardenne brothers’ most lauded films has a simple story, but they know how to generate heartbreaking emotions and real tension from everyday problems. The filmmakers sympathize greatly with the working class and these characters’ struggle with a cruel decision they shouldn’t have to make; nothing is black-or-white because even if we’re rooting for Sandra the bonus is a lot of money that her colleagues have been relying on. Above all, this is a tour-de-force performance by Cotillard who carries the movie through repetitive moments.
2014-Belgium-France-Italy. 95 min. Color. Produced by Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne, Denis Freyd. Written and directed by Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne. Cast: Marion Cotillard (Sandra Bya), Fabrizio Rongione (Manu Bya), Catherine Salée (Juliette), Olivier Gourmet, Christelle Cornil, Pili Groyne.
Trivia: Original title: Deux jours, une nuit.
European Film Awards: Best Actress (Cotillard).
Last word: “The challenge for us and for her was to give Marion Cotillard a new body. Every day of the rehearsals, we worked on her costumes, her shoes, her T-shirts, her hairstyle, looking for the simplest thing, the most banal, to give the impression that she was just like anyone else, and not that the other actors were turning around her. Very quickly, we had the sense that Marion was becoming a member of our family of characters.” (Luc Dardennes, Variety)