Two Days, One Night

Deux jours, une nuit

Directors: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne

Writers: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne

Cast: Marion Cotillard, Fabrizio Rongione, Catherine Salée, Batiste Sornin, Pili Groyne, Simon Caudry, Lara Persain, Alain Eloy, Myriem Akeddiou, Fabienne Sciascia, Anette Niro, Rania Mellouli, Christelle Delbrouck, Timur Magomedgadzhiev, Hassaba Halibi

Synopsis: Sandra, a young Belgian mother, discovers that her workmates have opted for a significant pay bonus, in exchange for her dismissal. She has only one weekend to convince her colleagues to give up their bonuses so that she can keep her job.

MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some mature thematic elements

Stevennix2001's Rating:

9 / 10

Pros:

- Cinematography and sound effects weren't that bad.

- Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne do an amazing job bringing this story to life.

- Marion Cotillard delivers an excellent performance

- All the characters feel like actual people rather than cliché archetypes

- Story is well written and properly executed

Cons:


- The story can be very heartbreaking to watch, so don't watch this if your not into sad movies.

- The movie tends to drag a lot, as it suffers various pacing issues because some scenes tend to drag on longer than they probably should.

A tragic story about losing one's job in today's modern economy

"Two Days, One Night" may not have scored big at the Oscars earlier this year , but it's arguably one of the best movies of 2014 by far. The film focuses on a young housewife named Sandra (Marion Cotillard), who recently loses her job because she was voted out by her coworkers. Apparently, her employer gave all the employees a choice that they could either keep her around, or they could elect to fire her, so they can all get lucrative bonuses later that year. Needless to say, she was voted out of her job, which causes her to fall into a deep depression.

Luckily, she's able to get her employers to hold another vote for her job, and she only has two days and one night to convince all her coworkers to vote to have her stay with the company; even if it means giving up their lucrative bonuses.

I won't say what happens to avoid spoiling it for readers, but i will say this much. The events that transpire show how cruel society can be sometimes in the face of economic adversity, but it also shows how some people are capable of compassion at times as well. It's an interesting character study about one woman's attempt to keep her job, in order to support her family. Although "Two Days, One Night" is a bit hard to watch considering how sad it can be sometimes, but it's arguaby one of the most touching stories ever made.

Marion Cotillard delivers a mesmerizing performance, as she pulls on the audiences' emotional heartstrings throughout the entire story. Although she's often portrayed being vulnerable throughout most of the film, we also see that her character has a bit of an inner strength that lies within her as well. Something she never loses, even in the amidst of adversity.

Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne (the directors and writers for this film) do a wonderful job orchestrating this emotionally powerful story about adversity and hardship, while showing how cruel the real world can be sometimes. It's an interesting story to say the least, so it's easy to see why "Two Days, One Night" was popular among most film critics last year.

As for the rest of the cast, I have to say everyone played their parts rather well. Unlike most Hollywood crap that comes out these days, "Two Days, One Night" never feels the need to talk down to it's audience, by spelling everything out for you. The last scene for instance, it ends on a bit of an open note that leaves you wondering what exactly will happen next for our protagonist. It was a perfect way to end what some would consider a heartfelt story about the human spirit itself.

However, the best part about this movie might be the characters themselves. Apart from the greedy corporate a**holes in this film, all the characters are treated like actual people rather than being placed into cliché archetypes. Throughout the film, we're shown that they all have their own individual problems and personalities. And even when one of Sandra's coworkers is mean to her, you can always see where they're coming from. After all, it's not an easy choice to make; especially if you actually need the money to survive yourself in this rough economy. Not saying I agree with their actions, but the film does allow you to see where each character is coming from on a logical basis, which makes the movie a treat to watch.

Having said all this though, I can't say the movie isn't without it's flaws. As I mentioned earlier, the movie can be difficult to watch because of how unbelievably sad the story is. Plus, it doesn't help that the movie tends to drag it's feet at times either.

As for the cinematography and technical aspects of the film, they were fairly decent. Granted, I wouldn't say they were the main reason why this film was good, but they weren't half bad either. According to various articles, "Two Days, One Night" was allegedly the first film that the Dardenne brothers shot digitally, which could anger some cinema purists out there. However, if you're like me, and you don't care if it's shot digitally or not, then it probably won't bother you as much.

Overall, I have to say that "Two Days, One Night" was probably one of the best movies that I've ever seen. It had a deep heartfelt story about the human spirit thriving in a bleak economy, while dealing with her own inner turmoil. If you're into foreign language films, then I would highly recommend checking out this masterpiece, as you won't regret it.

© 2015 Steven Escareno

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