Deux jours, une nuit (2014)
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This must be the biggest positive surprise of 2014. After years and years of overrated pictures, the Dardennes finally made a movie that is so heartwarming (in a melancholy way) and painful (in a provocative way) that I totally get what the fuss is all about. Especially after Le silence de Lorna and Le gamin au vélo I almost gave up on them. I'm glad I gave their most recent effort a fair chance, but must admit this probably wouldn't have happened if Marion Cotillard wasn't in it. She's one of those actresses I really like and in Deux jours, une nuit, I again realize why this is. Since Jeux d'enfants I've been watching her grow and get better with every movie. Now, her role as the depressed, burned-out Sandra is without any doubt one of the best acting performances this year. Not only that, but the Dardennes made one of the most topical movies of the 2010s. When governments, like the one in Belgium, decide to go for hard and merciless cuts in government spending because of an economic recession that is caused by the same people they protect, a lot of civilians become victims of this emotionless, inhuman practice that puts "hard work" before "life quality". The Dardennes have a history of making movies in this social realist style, but never have they made it this subversive. Actually it is quite sad that this kind of movie feels subversive. Everybody goes through hard times and has moments in her/his life where all things just seem pointless. Why is it still such a taboo to talk about these problems? Or are we all supposed to not think about life itself? Are we supposed to ignore the existential void and be happy in ignorant bliss? Deux jours, une nuit moved me on a very personal level. I hope it brings some warmth to those who need it even more, 'cause finally the movie ends with an optimistic note: regardless of how many people may pretend to be better or stronger than you, there will always be those who actually care. Even in the most bleak and dark periods.
Ver touching movie. Good pacing and excellent acting.
One of their very best, a marvelous and important film.
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In 3 official lists
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This movie ranks #29 in Belgian Film Awards
This movie ranks #381 in The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films
This movie ranks #910 in The Criterion Collection