Two Days, One Night



Written and directed by Belgian brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, Two Days, One Night is a seemingly simple story on face value, but one that delves deeply into the trials and tribulations of everyday life and the complex issues of mental illness.


Winner of Best Film at the Sydney Film Festival 2014, the scene is set around one weekend where factory worker and mother of two, Sandra (Marion Cotillard), tries to convince her fellow colleagues to save her factory job by voting for her to be reinstated, therefore sacrificing the bonuses they were offered when they voted to make her redundant.


Helped by her good friend Juliette (Catherine Salée) and endearing husband Manu (Fabrizio Rongione), Sandra tirelessly visits each house in turn across the weekend to beg for their help in the new vote to be held on the Monday morning.


It becomes apparent during the weekend, through her numerous emotional breakdowns and panic attacks, that the reason Sandra was deemed unfit for work by her boss was due to a leave of absence for depression, from which she has just returned.


If she doesn’t return to work, the other workers will get additional overtime and the offer of a bonus at the end of the year, which for many is a good replacement for someone whom they feel isn’t up to the job. It’s not surprising then that she is confronted with many differing reactions when visiting each one, from fights and breakups to surprising new friendships.


The plot is pretty dour throughout, however there are touching moments of light relief, such as when collegue Timur (Timur Magomedgadzhiev) breaks down in tears and begs her forgiveness, and the numerous beautiful scenes with loyal husband Manu, who is undoubtedly her rock.

Despite being a seemingly mundane topic at first glance, the film really delves into the issues of morality, pride and mental illness, making the viewer question what they would do in such a situation.

Two Days, One Night is showing in cinemas now.



Helen Lear





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