Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Gaspar Noé's List of 10 Favorite Films Makes Perfect, Terrifying Sense Gaspar Noé's List of 10 Favorite Films Makes Perfect, Terrifying Sense Jon Hamm Wants You to Know There's Hope for Don Draper After 'Mad Men' Jon Hamm Wants You to Know There's Hope for Don Draper After 'Mad Men' Women Fight Back at Cannes, From Megan Ellison to Emily Blunt Women Fight Back at Cannes, From Megan Ellison to Emily Blunt Of Time & Life: How 'Mad Men' Remade Television Of Time & Life: How 'Mad Men' Remade Television Nikki Finke Returns Nikki Finke Returns Cannes Goes Crazy for Jeremy Saulnier's Gruesome Neo-Nazis vs. Punks Horror 'Green Room' Cannes Goes Crazy for Jeremy Saulnier's Gruesome Neo-Nazis vs. Punks Horror 'Green Room' Cannes Festival Is Dominated by Two Hollywood Masters Cannes Festival Is Dominated by Two Hollywood Masters Top Ten Takeaways: Sequels Rule as Women Boost 'Pitch Perfect 2,' 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Also Strong Top Ten Takeaways: Sequels Rule as Women Boost 'Pitch Perfect 2,' 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Also Strong Cannes: Directors from Fincher to Scorsese Revisit Truffaut's Famous Interview with Hitchcock Cannes: Directors from Fincher to Scorsese Revisit Truffaut's Famous Interview with Hitchcock 'Pitch Perfect 2' Outperforms 'Mad Max: Fury Road'; 'Ultron' Is Now Top 2015 Release 'Pitch Perfect 2' Outperforms 'Mad Max: Fury Road'; 'Ultron' Is Now Top 2015 Release Kristen Stewart Re-Teams with Her 'Sils Maria' Director for Ghost Story Set in Fashion World Kristen Stewart Re-Teams with Her 'Sils Maria' Director for Ghost Story Set in Fashion World Watch: Netflix's Ted Sarandos Heckled at Cannes, Gets Weinstein on His Feet During Heated Debate (VIDEO) Watch: Netflix's Ted Sarandos Heckled at Cannes, Gets Weinstein on His Feet During Heated Debate (VIDEO) George Miller and DP John Seale Go Inside 'Mad Max: Fury Road': "It Was Like Being in a Video Game" George Miller and DP John Seale Go Inside 'Mad Max: Fury Road': "It Was Like Being in a Video Game" Natalie Portman's Passion Project 'Tale of Love and Darkness' Splits Cannes Critics Natalie Portman's Passion Project 'Tale of Love and Darkness' Splits Cannes Critics Cannes: 'Dogtooth' Director Yorgos Lanthimos Scores with Surreal, Macabre 'The Lobster' (Review and Roundup) Cannes: 'Dogtooth' Director Yorgos Lanthimos Scores with Surreal, Macabre 'The Lobster' (Review and Roundup) Weinstein Co. Offers Strong Slate at Cannes Weinstein Co. Offers Strong Slate at Cannes 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Auteur George Miller Does It His Way, No Matter How Long It Takes 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Auteur George Miller Does It His Way, No Matter How Long It Takes The Top 20 Episodes of 'Mad Men' The Top 20 Episodes of 'Mad Men' How the 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Score Paid Homage to Hitchcock's 'Vertigo' How the 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Score Paid Homage to Hitchcock's 'Vertigo' Why Kevin Costner Paid for 'Black or White' (New Trailer, Sneak Preview Q & A) Why Kevin Costner Paid for 'Black or White' (New Trailer, Sneak Preview Q & A)

WATCH: Cotillard Seeks Help in Dardenne Brothers' Cannes Hit 'Two Days, One Night' (TRAILER)

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood July 10, 2014 at 10:06AM

Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne return in a new drama, this time with Marion Cotillard.
2


"Two Days, One Night"
"Two Days, One Night"

The Belgian filmmakers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne have never made a bad movie. These painstaking writer-directors carefully prepare, rehearse for three weeks before filming, and always deliver something compelling and watchable. The Dardennes first approached Marion Cotillard when they were involved in producing Jacques Audiard's "Rust and Bone." As soon as they met her they knew they wanted to work with her, they said in Cannes. The feeling was mutual. A longtime admirer of the Dardennes, Cotillard signed on first for a story about a rural doctor and then a different script inspired by true stories from the economic crisis about a working class woman. The result is the stunning "Two Days, One Night" which failed to win a prize at Cannes (which has showered the Dardennes with prizes over the years). Watch the new trailer below. 

Oscar-winner Cotillard ("La Vie en Rose") manages to fold herself into this everyday woman, a factory manager who is suffering depression. Her job is being cut back. With the support of her husband (Dardennes regular Fabrizio Rongione) rallies herself to fight to get back her position. Her bosses are bribing their 16 employees with a 1000 Euro bonus if they are willing to let her go. She has to meet each one and plead for mercy--she can't afford to lose her job--and some of them, it turns out, aren't willing to give up their booty.

Over two days we watch this fragile woman summon the strength to plead her cause, which incites fractious arguments between husbands and wives and fathers and sons, as well as some moving support. Who will back her on the secret ballot vote? Who won't? Will she hold it together long enough to win the day? She's on a razor-thin edge throughout, constantly ready to retreat into depression and meds. Her husband lovingly holds on to her and pushes her back into the world. 

"What made everything possible is it's something we all did together," Jean-Pierre Dardennes told Canal Plus. "We discovered it together...She herself becomes someone else, in going out to others with the support of her husband. She becomes a woman who is no longer afraid to express her opinion."

The Dardennes have always sought the universal in the specific. "These are the people we know," said Luc. "The solidarity among colleagues is something that is often missing and separates us all from each other, this is a universal message, it's strong." It took them a while to find the appropriate ending that rang true. 

"I wasn't surprised at how demanding they are," Cotillard told Canal Plus. "To achieve these results a lot of work is required. I like more than anything too discover new worlds and ways of discovering this world. With Jean-Pierre and Luc it's everything I always dreamed of in the relationship of directors and actors, to go into such detail."

In short, this is a juicy role for any actress and Cotillard runs with it. "I love complex parts," Cotillard said at the Cannes press conference. "I'm moved by people who manage, who cope, despite circumstances and situations and their handicap, for example. I learn a lot about human beings and the human condition when I explore these people's souls...I just set myself aside and become the other person...I try to go as deep as I can into the character to set aside the work aspect and become that person, give up my own identity, become the person. Once on set if I've found all these keys, I don't have much to do but hand the car keys to the character and that character drives me rather than the opposite."

Rehearsing is key, the cast said, in costume and on set, before and during the shooting, as the cameras follow them. "We get to know each other very well," said Cotillard, "and find the right movement of the bodies and the cameras, it's like a dance a rhythm...We save time on shooting and focus on the acting exclusively. For an actor or actress that's stupendous. There are no obstacles in the way of what we are portraying and saying. You have the tale that unfolds untrammeled, the images and cameras follow the movement." 

But everyone is working from a script. Nothing is improvised. "I've always dreamt of working with those directors who will lead me to the deepest details," said Cotillard," the finest details of a character and a film. I've always sensed in their films that there would be a huge amount of work involved in order to attain the perfection they achieve in their films."

IFC Sundance Selects will release the film, which we can expect to turn up on the fall festival circuit.

Watch the trailer below.


This article is related to: Trailers, News, Marion Cotillard, Luc Dardenne, Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Video, Video


E-Mail Updates






Festivals on TOH