two days, one night ****
NYT Critics’ Pick – Directed by Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne
Belgium: Drama (French with English subtitles)
PG-13 1h 35m * Starring: Marion Cotillard
Thursday, June 30 – 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.; 11:30 p.m. lunch provided
by Clafoutis 12:00 p.m. film begins (96 mins), post movie discussion
facilitated by former CIR board member, Rob Reider
Location: CIR conference room, 413 Grant Ave. Suite D
Cost: $20 includes lunch and film
The deadline to reserve for this event has passed. If you are still interested in attending, please call Susan at the CIR office: 505- 982-4931, ext. 102.
Marion Cotillard’s performance is as fine a piece of screen acting as you will ever see. In Two Days, One Night, she disappears in the role of Sandra Bya, a working mother fighting to save her job at a small company that makes solar panels. Sandra is an ordinary person in mundane circumstances, but her story, plainly and deliberately told, is suspenseful, sobering and, in the original, fear-of-God sense of the word, tremendous. After a medical leave for treatment for depression, she returns to work, only to discover that her job is indanger of disappearing. The company has offered her co-workers a choice: If she is laid off, all of them will receive the 1,000 euro ($1,200) bonuses they have long been promised; if they agree to give up the bonuses, she can keep her job. A vote has already been held among the 16 members of Sandra’s work team, but her boss agrees to a second ballot. This gives Sandra a weekend — two days and one night, to persuade a majority of her colleagues to make a painful sacrifice
on her behalf.
A lot more than money is at stake, but that is never underestimated as to the importance of money in the lives of their characters. That 1,000 euros will help pay for school tuition, for home repairs, for children’s clothes and mortgages. Nobody is rich or greedy, though some people are perhaps more selfish than others. The leisure of a summer weekend is, mostly, a time for more work: fixing the car, coaching soccer, toiling at a second job, looking after the kids.
Work, for Sandra and her fellow citizens of the Dardenne Republic, is an irreplaceable source of meaning, identity and happiness. “Two Days, One Night” is about the erosion of all of those values, and also about the waning of solidarity in the modern economy. In the past, the quality of life that workers like Sandra and Manu enjoy might have been secured through collective struggle. Now, the film suggests, it is maintained through individual competition among the workers themselves. This is a grim and painful reality — not only in Belgium — but the movie is too committed to the dignity of their characters to set themselves up as merchants of despair. “Two Days, One Night” does not paint a pretty picture of the world as it is now. Partly for that reason — and partly because of the gravity and grace of its star — it’s a beautiful movie.
Clafoutis is the next best thing to being in Paris! The owner/chef, Philippe Ligier, is a classically trained baker who creates luscious pastries, breads, crepes, sandwiches, soups and quiches that are simply wonderful. This little slice of the French countryside in Santa Fe is your best source for classic French bistro fare.