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Cannes 2014: Two Days, One Night | reviews, news & interviews

Cannes 2014: Two Days, One Night

Cannes 2014: Two Days, One Night

Cotillard and the Dardennes are a match made in heaven

Marion Cotillard is "wondrous" in Two Days, One Night' as a woman fighting for her livelihood

Any synopsis of Two Days, One Night is bound to make it sound like a worthy, sub-Loachian drama: A young mother, Sandra (Marion Cotillard), recently off work with depression, is made redundant from a small factory. In her absence, 14 of her 16 colleagues have voted to take their bonuses rather than let her keep her job. But she persuades her boss to host a second round of voting two days later, to allow her the weekend to persuade her fellow workers to support her.

However, none of the above takes into account the brilliance of the Belgian brothers, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, or the wondrous central performance of Marion Cotillard, who appears in every scene of the movie. There isn’t an ounce of extraneous fat on the film’s lean narrative body, no subplots, no obligatory sex scenes, nothing to detract from the pill-popping Sandra’s dogged mission as she goes from one of her colleague’s dwellings to another, pursued by the directors’ probing camera.

The Dardennes have given new meaning to the term motion picture - their protagonists are continually on the move. In order to achieve this subjective intimacy with the leading characters and to capture their nervous mobility, the directors have elevated the hand-held camera to the level of other great cinematic devices. They barely use the shot-reverse-shot method, which serves most films, nor is their camera style POV. Yet, the camera is closer to being the audience’s surrogate than in the majority other films.

This fluid style is at the service of what concerns the directors, the underlying forces that influence the actions of their working-class characters, often caught up in inextricably difficult situations. Although Two Days, One Night is approached in a non-didactic, non-sentimental, lucid manner, it is as much of a motion picture as an emotional one.

The Dardennes have given new meaning to the term motion picture - their protagonists are continually on the move


Editor Rating: 
Average: 5 (1 vote)

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