It lost out on the Palme D'or at Cannes this year. Nevertheless, Deux Jours, Une Nuit has been hailed a triumph for both filmmakers and star- the marvellous Marion Cotillard.
As with their previous Palme D'or winners 'The Promise' and 'Rosetta', the film is in the social realist style. The Belgian brothers are celebrated for depicting normal people, with normal problems; asserting that their stories are worthy of our attention.
Cotillard plays Sandra, a factory worker who wakes up one morning to find she's been made redundant; a result of her co-workers majority decision to keep their bonuses rather than their colleague. Having only just clawed her family out of welfare housing, Sandra appeals and is given 'two days and one night' to convince her coworkers to change her fate.
The film doesn't transform the conflict into an epic. It does not over-romanticize Sandra’s plight, nor is it particularly interested in Hollywood's beloved 'one man against the system' narrative to see us through the grit à la 'Erin Brockovich'. Sandra presents her case factually, by clearly defining the problems and injustices she faces- knowing all too well that each colleague she approaches has their own dreams, demons and restrictions that makes money more than commodity. As such, she is the perfect emblem of the directors' unadorned filmmaking; like a walking, warm-hearted manifesto. More than this, Cotillard's performance sings with the extraordinary precision of feeling and courageous lack of vanity she's brought to roles from her Oscar winning turn as Edith Piaf, to Stephanie in Jacques Audiard's 'Rust and Bone'.
Beyond Hollywood glitz
Given her fame, Cotillard was an unlikely choice of lead by the siblings who eschew Tinseltown glitz at all costs. Yet Cotillard’s performance has been universally praised and, despite megastardom, she manages to occupy industrial Belgian paucity as though it were her natural habitat.
A richly human tale
The magic of Deux Jours, Une Nuit is that although our hearts are with our hero, they could have been with any of the comrades she turns to. We delve with Sandra, beyond their whims or personal principles to the very real lives that inform their decision. These are not dramatic foils, or symbolic ends of a moral spectrum- they're people richly hewn from the details we glimpse of complicated, messy lives, and all of whom are worthy of our attention.
So too is this subtle, honest and compassionate film. We can't wait to hear what you think.
|What||Deux Jours, Une Nuit|
|Where||Various Locations | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Leicester Square (underground)|
22 Aug 14 – 10 Oct 14, 12:00 AM
|Website||Click here for more info via IMDb|