Two Days, One Night (Deux Jours, Une Nuit) (2014)
Directors: Luc Dardenne, Jean-Pierre Dardenne
Writers: Luc Dardenne, Jean-Pierre Dardenne
Notable Actors: Marion Cotillard
Marion Cotillard really is one of the best actors of modern cinema. Here her performance is understated yet powerful as a woman dealing with depression and being laid off at work. With the help of colleagues and her supportive husband she goes around asking fellow workers to choose to keep her at work over receiving a one-off bonus.
Until recently I was not one to tear-up in films. During the 95mins of Two Days I felt the telling tightening of the throat several times, the first only 10 mins in. Like Taste of Cherry this is a small film that addresses universal ideas: here it is the love of your fellow human being and the importance of having a sense of community. Social Realism can risk becoming politically preachy: Two Days avoids this through its compassionate representation of the other workers who want to choose the bonus. I won't spoil the ending, but I will say that it is perfect. Go, watch, now!