Two Days, One Night - reviews of 'exciting' workplace drama

Aug 22, 2014

Marion Cotillard is 'magnificent' in this must-see talking-point movie about the 21 century workplace

Two Days, One Night
What you need to know

A new drama starring Marion Cotillard, Two Days, One Night opens in UK cinemas today. The French-language film is directed by the Dardenne brothers, best known for their Palme D'Or winning film Rosetta.

Two Days, One Night tells the story of Sandra (Cotillard) a woman who tries to convince her colleagues at a small company to renounce their annual bonuses in order for her to save her job.

What the critics like

The Dardenne brothers, make "punchy, contemporary, socially aware films – simple on the surface but alive with compassion and wisdom", says Dave Calhoun in Time Out. This feels like one of their best and features a career-high performance from Oscar-winner Cotillard.

 "A tense dramatic situation and a subtly magnificent central performance from Marion Cotillard add up to an outstanding new movie from the Dardenne brothers," says Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian. Impassioned, exciting and moving, it's a Twelve Angry Men of the 21st-century workplace.

Even if you've skipped the Dardennes' work until now, "this is a talking-point movie" and an outstanding lead performance you need to see, says Kim Newman in Empire. It's a rare film of unforced simplicity that will stick with you for a long time. 

What they don't like

The film "doesn't amount to much more than a series of confrontations", each one beginning with the same speech by Sandra, says Robbie Collin in the Daily Telegraph. The wild variety in her colleagues' reactions fires the drama, and makes this a thoughtful, humane addition to the Dardenne canon, but perhaps nothing all that new.

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