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Two Days, One Night

Directed by Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne

Belgium, 2014

Cornerhouse, 24 August 2014

Two Days, One Night

A convincing portrait of the precarious nature of employment in modern Europe, which features an astonishing central performance by Marion Cotillard.

I found her portrayal of a woman recovering from depression, faced with the prospect of unemployment and fighting for a place in the world, to be very moving.  Even while recognising that the set-up is more than a little contrived.

There is an interest also in how her erstwhile colleagues respond to her plight.  Do they help another, can they in fact afford to?  Or do they protect themselves and their own?  What will they sacrifice to allow her to remain in their world?

The film has an elemental quality, like a parable or Hasidic tale.  A modern morality.

We are uplifted at the end, though it is by no means a triumphalist film: the social bond, frayed and fragile at this worst of times, for the moment holds firm.

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