Something strange happened at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. Marion Cotillard was hotly tipped to win the Best Actress award for the Dardenne brother’s latest drama “Two Days, One Night.” The buzz was loud after the film screened and she seemed like the frontrunner (read our review from Cannes here), but the jury, lead by Jane Campion, instead went with Julianne Moore for “Map To The Stars.” Was Cotillard “robbed”? Who’s to say, your writer wasn’t there and furthermore, the award was made by an eclectic body of nine people that isn’t obligated to reward the consensus choice.
Still, what can I say? I’m very excited to see this film and we called it one of the 5 Best Films From The 2014 Film Festival. Curiously, while the film is already out in France, there’s only been one clip released and not a lot of extra goodies – perhaps they’re being saved for the eventual U.S. release, whenever that is. Regardless, a few new elements have surfaced, including some new photos and some new footage that can be seen within a new German TV feature (via Magnifique Marion Cotillard). Sundance Selects is releasing the picture stateside, but the movie has no release yet – it’s unclear whether it’ll be a 2014 or 2015 release, and presumably it’ll do the rounds once more at the North American fall film festival circuit (likely Telluride at least; the festival gave Cotillard an early career tribute in 2012 and probably NYFF).
And while the "Two Days, One Night" press notes do not have any kind of director's statement, there is a brief interview with the Dardennes and they explained how and why they used a famous actress for the first time in their directing career.
"We met Marion when we were working as co-producers on 'Rust and Bone' by Jacques Audiard, which was partly shot in Belgium. We met her by chance, coming out of an elevator holding her baby, and were won over immediately. Driving back to Liège, we didn’t stop talking about her: her face, her look…," Luc said. "Hiring such a famous actress was an additional challenge for us. Marion was able to find a new body and a new face for this film," Jean-Pierre added.
"She never wanted to show her work as an actor," Luc said. "Nothing that she accomplishes here falls under the heading of a performance or display. We worked together in an atmosphere of reciprocal trust that allowed us to try anything."
Evidently their approach often amounted to takes that went into double digits rivaling that of even David Fincher, but Cotillard was not deterred. "Each and every detail matters so much that they will do things again and again," she said. "That’s the price for the intensity and truth in their films. Had they asked me to shoot 250 takes for one scene, I would have done it. I never grew sick of it… I’ve never been directed like this before."
And while it’s hard to find in theaters and isn’t available on VOD, another Cotillard film in theaters that you should see is James Gray’s “The Immigrant,” co-starring Joaquin Phoenix and Jeremy Renner. “The Immigrant” is playing in limited theaters (check your local listings) and Cotillard and Gray recently appeared on Charlie Rose. You can watch that 20 minute interview below, as well as eight minutes of B-roll from the film, the entire 42 minute Cannes press conference of "Two Days, One Night" and a short two minute clip of Cotillard discussing her role in “Macbeth” opposite Michael Fassbender – one of or mostly highly anticipated films, presumably of 2015.