After being off work for depression, Sandra Bya finds out that she lost her job at a small solar panels factory. The boss gave her co-workers a choice between getting a 1,000 Euros bonus each or making Sandra’s job redundant. Naturally, most chose the money. But, encouraged by her husband and a supportive co-worker, Sandra persuades her boss to hold another vote. She has literally two days and one night to persuade her co-workers to vote for her. For a woman who just came out of a depression, it is a difficult task. Knocking on every doors of her 16 co-workers, – some of them are friends – feeling like a beggar, miserably asking people she worked with to give up the money they need so that she can keep her job. The fact that Sandra (beautifully played by Marion Cotillard) understands how hard life is for her colleagues, makes it even more difficult for her to ask. While she is doing that, there are periods of self-doubt and the depression is coming back. But her husband, Manu (Fabrizio Rongione), understand that if Sandra gives up the fight, desperation will lead to an even bigger depressive state. As some co-workers agree to support her, one becoming a close friend and leaving her husband, it brings some hope But others react with anger and even violent outbursts. From Belgium, the Dardenne brothers (Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne), often deal with realistic social dramas. The film and its topic is very involving and we can all empathize with Sandra’s problem. At one point it threatens to become too lovey-dovey. I thought, “I feel a song coming on”. Sandra was in the car with her new best friend and her husband. The radio was playing a song and the three of them started singing together and tearfully smiling at each other. But at least it wasn’t Kumbaya my lord. Marion Cotillard gives an amazing tour de force performance. It is impressive because she is in every scenes (and almost in every shots) in the film. As we look at Sandra trying to keep her sanity, we witness Cotillard’s internal monologue. And Fabrizio Rongione is excellent as the supportive husband. A very touching, well made and well acted film.
And the Oscar went to… Marion Cotillard got a well deserved nomination in the Actress in a leading role category. But as expected the winner was Julianne Moore as a woman with Alzheimer in Still Alice. Like Moore, Cotillard is in every scenes of Deux jours, une nuit.
Deux jours, une nuit (Two days, one night)