Directed by film festival favorites Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, Two Days, One Night stars Oscar winner Marion Cotillard (La vie en Rose) as Sandra, who is just about to return to work at a solar panel company after taking a leave of absence for depression when she learns that her co-workers have voted for her to be fired in exchange for each of them receiving a bonus of 1,000 Euros.
Encouraged by her husband and her best friend, she gets her supervisor to agree to conduct a revote when everyone returns to work on Monday. She then spends the weekend visiting each of her 16 co-workers to try to convince them to save her job by giving up their bonuses. Some are hostile to her, some are completely supportive, some need the bonus money so badly that Sandra doesn’t hold it against them, and some of them just like the idea of gaining some extra money even if they don’t really need it.
I found Two Days, One Night to be a wonderful portrayal of a cross-section of normal working people. And Cotillard is so good, so believable, that one of my viewing companions didn’t even realize it was Best Actress Oscar winner Marion Cotillard playing Sandra until the credits rolled at the end. In fact, even though the film didn’t even make the Foreign Language short list, Cotillard gained a Best Actress nomination this year.