Deux jours, une nuit (Two Days, One Night) (2014) by Jean-Pierre Dardenne & Luc Dardenne
Sandra, a young Belgian mother, discovers that her workmates have opted for a significant pay bonus, in exchange for her dismissal. She has only one weekend to convince her colleagues to give up their bonuses so that she can keep her job.
This film really strikes a chord with me — work has often put me in extreme situations testing my ethics and principles, and just like Sandra and her colleagues in the latest Dardenne film, making the right decision is far from easy.
Sandra’s journey over that insanely trying weekend is gripping and poignant (but fear not, the Dardenne brothers have always avoided sentimentality like the plague). The ending has a clever twist, and I find it pitch-perfect and inspiring.
Side note: Deux Jours, une nuit came as a much needed breath of fresh air in a film&TV landscape overloaded with striking visuals and beautiful cinematography. I had been seriously losing myself in that world, screen-grabbing the fuck out of everything I was watching — a highly time-consuming habit by the way, considering that an hour of film could take me two hours to watch because of compulsive screen grabbing… So yeah, it was rather nice to break that vicious cycle with a no-frills piece of fiction driven purely by plot, social realism and characters.