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Two Days, One Night

OSCAR NOMINATED! Best Actress

Oscar Nominated!  Best Actress. “Belgium's Dardenne brothers, Jean-Pierre and Luc, make punchy, contemporary, socially aware films – simple on the surface but alive with compassion and wisdom. Two Days, One Night feels like one of their best, in its cast-iron sense of purpose, searing relevance and understanding of how tough it is for all of us to do the right thing in our everyday lives.

“It features a career-high performance from Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard, and has a starting-gun premise: a young mother, Sandra, recently off work with depression, is made redundant from a small factory. In her absence, 14 of her 16 colleagues have voted to take their bonuses rather than let her keep her job. But she persuades her boss to give her one last chance and to host a second round of voting two days later. Will she be able to save her job by knocking on doors over the weekend to persuade her colleagues to support her?

“What follows could so easily feel repetitive or like a perfunctory tour of Belgium's working classes as, one by one, we meet these 16 colleagues and their families, hovering on their doorsteps or in their homes. But in the hands of the Dardennes the repetition allows us to see the same situation from a new perspective. It also perfectly suits the Dardennes' unobtrusive, immediate, agile style of shooting. With each encounter, each vote shifts from an abstract idea into an opinion that's attached to a life, to a family. Most importantly, the film involves us: it draws us into the debate, demands that we have an opinion, and then upends that same opinion a few minutes later. It's engaging and rousing.

“This is political drama at its finest and most humane: heady, engaging, gently ingraining ideas about empowerment, taking a stand and how we organise our societies into the fabric of the film. Each one of Sandra's encounters is a surprise and adds shade or a new perspective to what we think the film has to tell us about human nature and how we live our lives. There are no heroes or villains here; everybody is simply getting by.” - TimeOut

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