Two Days, One Night movie poster
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Two Days, One Night
Two Days, One Night movie poster

Two Days, One Night Movie Review

Now available on Blu-ray and DVD (Buy on Amazon)

The French-Belgium drama Two Days, One Night is receiving rave reviews and is considered a frontrunner at the Oscars, but if you read the premise, you’ll wonder what the hell everyone is talking about. After you watch the movie, you may still be wondering the same thing.

About a woman named Sandra who discovers that her coworkers have voted for a pay bonus rather than keep her on staff, Two Days, One Night follows Marion Cotillard around as she goes from person to person begging them to change their vote in hope that she can retain her job.

Real thrilling stuff.

Thankfully only 95 minutes long, the movie--directed by the Dardenne brothers--essentially entails her doing the same thing over and over again--talking with each coworker, pleading her case and waiting for their reaction--until the movie ends with a resolution that (spoiler) essentially makes the whole story pointless to begin with.

There is some nuance in terms of how each character reacts to her request, and the acting, primarily from Oscar-winner Cotillard, is top notch. But it’s the kind of performance that makes you respect the actress--if you didn’t already--more for her ability to master any type of role than it is one that leaves a lasting, holy-crap-she-was-awesome impression.

Proponents of Two Days, One Night will surely say its strength is its depiction of how individuals balance an appeal to the greater communal good versus self benefit, how it dissects a very real macro situation--layoffs--into something much more personal, or how it portrays depression and anxiety. But none of those layers really clicked with me: Two Days, One Night is repetitive, boring and unfulfilling, leaving me wondering what the hell everyone is talking about.

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

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