TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT | MOVIE REVIEW

TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT is one of the cinematic greats of the 2014. It beat BOYHOOD to win the Sydney Film Festival, sits on 94% after 52 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and is being hailed as Marion Cotillard’s career defining performance. Kernel Emma Bishop reviews for Salty Popcorn. It is out now on limited release at art house cinemas from MADMAN – suss your local directories (definitely at DENDY NEWTOWN). TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT runs for 91mins and is rated M. Enjoy Emmas review below…..all the best…..JK.

 

TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT MOVIE POSTER IMAGE
TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | ENGLISH MOVIE POSTER

 

REVIEW BY EMMA BISHOP

TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT (AKA DEUX JOURS, UNE NUIT) is the new powerful human realist drama from Belgian filmmaking brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne. Marion Cotilliard as factory worker Sandra, delivers an honest and emotionally rich performance, she is truly fantastic. With the addition of hugely reputable Cotilliard the film has attracted a more mainstream audience for the directing duo. As the narrative explores the lives of each of her colleagues, we experience Sandra’s struggle alongside her as she fights to regain her dignity and ultimately overcome her own demons. This beautiful, award-winning film is receiving very high praise from critics around the world and will no doubt stimulate plenty of buzz as it premieres in cinemas.

 

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TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | SANDRA (MARION COTILLARD) LEAVES WORK IN FRONT OF OTHER WORKERS

 

Sandra is on the verge of unemployment after her colleagues vote to take a large salary bonus in exchange for her release. With a loving husband, young children and a mortgage to pay, she is faced with the prospect of council housing and financial hardship. After a conversation with her boss, Sandra is given one weekend to convince all sixteen of her colleagues that she must keep her job and in exchange they must forfeit their much needed $1000 euro bonus. As the narrative takes us through her visits to each colleague, we experience the struggles of the working class, one intimate shot after another. Each of her co-workers has their own struggle whether it is the fees for their children’s education, renovations on the house or simply food on the table. How does one convince others to part with their much needed income when their own anguish is no different from your own? Torn between understanding her co-workers own exertions and the impeding fear of unemployment, Sandra struggles to achieve a unanimous vote to secure her job. The plot unfolds in a very simple, linear fashion which is highly effective in accentuating the raw emotions of the factory workers. Each individual story is psychologically moving it its own way; it takes a talented storyteller to enliven such feelings. Sandra’s husband Manu (Fabrizio Rongione) is right by her side along the way, Rongione brings warmth and hope to the film; he is a great supporting lead.

 

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TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | SANDRA (MARION COTILLARD) AND MANU (FABRIZIO RONGIONE) HAVE AN ICE CREAM

 

While the subject matter is fairly dismal, the togetherness of Sandra’s factory community provides an encouraging and uplifting insight into the human condition. Even in the most challenging financial situations, her co-workers genuinely care about her well-being. Despite its simplicity, TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT touches on some very real human issues. The Dandenne brothers are sensitive and rational in their handling of depression and domestic abuse. Sandra isn’t the victim of her mental illness and is instead on a journey to regain the courage to fight. Cotilliard can do no wrong in my eyes and her performance has once again surpassed my expectations. She brings a real richness to her vacant, dishevelled character, which is teamed brilliantly with the Dardenne brother’s style of natural, non-obtrusive shooting. I read a quote from Cotilliard herself the other day which sums this up perfectly. “With the Dardennes, the intent must always stay in the shadows. Even when my parts lend themselves to a ‘performance’ I always try to conceal my acting, so the audience can be with the character and her emotions”. Cotilliard is a highly committed performer and the camera dances around her luminous face throughout the film. These lingering shots are combined with natural lighting and minimal makeup. The set-design is uncomplicated and the soundtrack minimalist, leaving the raw human emotions to speak for themselves.

 

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TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | SANDRA (MARION COTILLARD) AND TIMUR (TIMUR MAGOMEDGADZHIEV)

 

If you loved RUST AND BONE (one of my favourite films from last year), there is no doubt you will also love this film. While the storyline is less dramatic and rather slow the fantastic script and strong actors ensure your mind does not wonder. Anyone who is attracted to the emotional journey of a film that has subtle dark undertones will adore this film as much as I did myself. If you have a short attention span or are looking for something action packaged, this is not the film for you. Nor would it appropriate for a family excursion, the adult themes would most likely only entertain mum and dad. TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT has wide appeal and is particularly respectable for its ability to portray a supportive workplace, while so many storytellers are obsessed with competitive and greedy characters. Good films about the human condition are few and far between which is why it is so damn exciting when someone gets it right. This film draws similarities between Asghar Farhadi’s A SEPERATION for its strong female leads and beautiful screenplay. It would be impossible to do these scripts justice in Hollywood, the removal of the glitz and glamour is exactly what audiences love. TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT is compassionate, gritty and surprisingly uplifting, I could not recommend it more.

 

4 Pops