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Sandra Bya, married with two children, has been off work from her job at Solwal on medical leave for depression. During her absence from work, her boss, M. Dumont, on the suggestion of her immediate supervisor, the shop foreman Jean-Marc, figures that her section of the company can function with sixteen people working full time with a bit of overtime instead of seventeen with no overtime, that seventeenth person being Sandra. Because of the global competition the company faces, Dumont decides the company can only finance the annual bonuses for those sixteen employees, which are EUR1,000 per person, or Sandra's job, leaving the decision to those sixteen. On a Friday near the end of her medical leave, Sandra learns of this situation from her friend and co-worker Juliette after the "show of hands" vote is held, the result a 13-3 decision for the bonuses over Sandra's job. Because Juliette knows Jean-Marc, who is determined to get rid of Sandra, influenced the vote by scare mongering ... Written by
In an interview to Indiewire, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne stated that they were thinking about 12 Angry Men (1957) when conceiving "Two Days, One Night", because it's a process of going to see people to try and change their minds. When asked about the similarities with High Noon (1952), they told that you could say that Marion Cotillard's character is a little bit like Grace Kelly in the film, although they didn't think about it while writing it. See more »
Hello? I was resting. Just a second. I have to get my tart out. I've made a tart for the kids. Yes, why? Tell me why. No. No, Juliette. No.
[hangs off the phone]
You mustn't cry.
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The heart of this film does not lie in the simple plot, but in the portrayal of a woman, and her family, struggling with depression and the prospect of losing everything.
After coming out the other side of an apparently lengthy battle with depression, Sandra (Cotillard) faces the prospect of losing her job if she cannot convince the majority of her colleagues to forgo a 1,000 bonus in favour of her staying with the company. One by one, she reaches out the her co-workers in the hope that she can convince them to vote for her to stay. On the whole, it is not these interactions that steal the show, but Sandra's own personal struggles with having to ask. The guilt she feels, pleading with people to give up money that most of them desperately need in order for her to keep a job she's not been at for months, coupled with her on-going struggles with depression and her own demons. Cotillard's performance is exceptional throughout, her frustration and upset so believable that it's easy to forget that this an actress playing a role. Anyone who has been affected by depression, either personally or indirectly, will find large portions of the film relatable and harrowing.
A strong supporting cast and a truly moving script complete this understated gem of a movie.
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