Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne have made the best film of the Cannes Film Fest so far, Two Days, One Night. With this suspenseful saga of a woman on the verge of losing her job, the Dardennes highlight the economic crisis framed within the context of human nature. Not since the Twilight Zone has human behavior been laid so bare, with our best and worst instincts examined under crisis. What would you do if you had the choice between a hefty bonus and one of your co-workers losing her job? Do you need the money enough to sell someone down the river? Or do you value your own integrity, no matter what the cost.
That is the dynamic at play with this exceptional film. Marion Cotillard plays Sandra, a wife and mother of two who is one lost job away from losing the mortgage on her house and going on welfare. Despite her resistance to “looking like beggar,” her ongoing battles with depression and dependence upon anti-anxiety drugs, Cotillard’s Sandra decides to muster up what fight in her she has left to speak to her co-workers, one agonizing visit after another.