I've never felt a particular affinity to the films of the Dardenne brothers, Jean-Pierre and Luc: like some, can leave the rest.
But their newest, Two Days, One Night, pulled me in almost instantly and held me to its gripping conclusion. It's a small story -- an individual's fight for her economic life and that of her family in the suburbs of Liege, Belgium.
Her name is Sandra (Marion Cotillard) and she's a factory worker making solar panels. But the company isn't meeting profit margins, apparently, because the plant foreman has informed the workers that they have a choice: They can have a bonus at the end of the year - or they can let Sandra (who had taken time off to deal with postpartum depression) keep her job. Her salary comprises their bonus fund and they're given a choice between selfishness and altruism - except, of course, it isn't that simple.
The workers opt for the bonus, and the loss of her income threatens to force Sandra, her husband and their young child out of their home. But Sandra and a colleague argue to the big boss that the foreman pressured the workers to vote for the bonus. So the boss agrees to a re-vote on the following Monday.
This review continues on my website.