Two Days, One Night (PG) ****

Hard Luck!

Two Days, One NightFriendship is put to the ultimate (?) test in Two Days, One Night. Consider this small French gem from Mongrel Media to be topical and heart-provoking. Fine drama of a European flavour perfect for all cultures is now unfolding at the International Village Cinemas.

Work is important to most people. Lose your job or take a pay cut is heard all too often in the western world. Spry Sandra enjoys her job at a solar panel plant in cosmopolitan France. Good in any role but excelling here is Marion Cotillard who sizzles as the left behind woman whose job and future is put on the line.
Couple this situation with some medical problems and a small family and you can sense the frailty of the situation.

What makes Two Days, One Night so effective is the choice given this factory worker: suck up losing your pay check or try to remedy the situation. Egged on by her husband Sandra embarks on a seemingly impossible journey to get her fellow employees to help her out.

Here the pressure builds as the one on one talks between a host of diverse people shines a bright light on racism, greed and a host of other human conditions which at times seem so inhumane. What’s right and wrong in this debate may well stir lots of powerful emotions among audiences.

Smart and stylish direction from Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne really hits home and dare I say turns into a rallying cry for the less fortunate. Long on drama with a few light touches and some surprise musical accompaniments ensures Two Days , One Night will leave you with tears and hopeful.

By Robert Waldman