Two Days, One Night (2014)



Belgium, France
Alain Eloy, Baptiste Sornin, Batiste Sornin
95 min

What it's about

Sandra is a young woman who has only one weekend to convince her colleagues they must give up their bonuses in order for her to keep her job — not an easy task in this economy.

The take

This movie originally caught my eye for all the attention it got at the Cannes festival, but I assure you, all of the hype is more than warranted. Two Days, One Night takes you on an emotional journey with Sandra, recovering from depression and ready to get back to work, when she discovers that her co-workers, having to choose between receiving a bonus and Sandra keeping her job, hold her fate in their hands. And thus, barely convinced herself and with her husband as her only support, she sets out on an unlikely mission to convince the people to vote against the bonus so that she still has a salary. This movie will strike a chord for anyone who has encountered depression or even simply tried to understand the abstract concept that it is. Marion Cotillard flawlessly portrays through Sandra the desperate struggle of having to put up a fight despite the utter hopelessness that she finds herself drowning in. At strife with herself, watching her try even though every cell in her body has given up, is gut-wrenching and awe-inspiring at the same time. Before long Sandra's fight on the lay-off and on her own hopelessness seem to blur together. Whether she wins, is what keeps you hooked to the very end.


This film is a crafty work from Dardenne brothers. It tells a story within a constrained amount of time, and does so very effectively. The film is not just revolving around a character who is having a hard time explaining herself and some of her deficiencies that rise from her world-weariness, but also emphasize how empathy should be felt for people like us even in the immediate consequences, by standing up for one like us might mean jeopardizing our personal bottom line. We all need help in difficult times and this story is enlightening in the way it approaches human nature (or hypocrisy) as well as personal sacrifice. Seeing Cotillard’s character try to knock as many doors as possible before it is too late and each time have to relive the hurtful, ptsd-inducing facts of the situation she is in is truly jarring. I highly recommend this film.

Painfully accurate insight into depression. Amazing perfomance from Marion Cotillard.

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