Before seeing the French domestic drama “two days, one night” I was only cursorily familiar with Marion Cotillard’s work. I am now richly informed.
Likewise, little did I know that a movie about a blue-collar wife and mother battling to keep her job as a rank and file factory floor worker could be enrapturing entertainment. Guess what? It can.
Cotillard is completely credible in this Oscar-nominated performance as Sandra. She strikes nary a false note in a riveting turn as a woman struggling with severe depression as she strives to convince fellow employees to ditch their coveted bonuses so that she may continue to earn a living for her family and not be forced to take government handouts “on the dole”. The fact that Cotillard, though a true natural beauty, went without any apparent makeup for the bulk of the film only served to enhance the stark urgency and utter desperation inherent in her enormously daunting mission.
And there is another aspect of “two days, one night” that especially appealed to me personally. As a big rock music fan, I found it delightful that the Belgian Director tandem of brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne chose to include in their production a pair of scenes which cleverly communicate the inherent spirit and emotion of the genre in very different manners. The pair of classic songs featured from legendary pop and rock icons Petula Clark and Van Morrison instil a sense both of pathos and frivolity into the complex fabric of this chronicle examining the fight for human dignity and destiny.
Never one to surrender the specifics as regards an ending, I will simply impart that “two days, one night” arrived at a conclusion that is at once as reasonably realistic as it is distinctly hopeful.
Or to put it another way……
Success and satisfaction do not always come to us in the forms in which they are pursued.