Deux jours, une nuit is a dull movie with an interesting premise. Sandra’s co-workers vote for her to be laid off rather than lose a €1,000 bonus. As an accommodation, their boss agrees to hold another vote, granting Sandra the weekend to speak with her colleagues and persuade them to change their vote.
Deux jours, une nuit fails in its screenplay and sparse dialogue for narrating the story. If each co-worker shared distinct anecdotes about their personal situation and how they struggled with their decision, it would have presented an interesting dilemma by fostering sympathy for both Sandra and company that illustrates the loss of one’s dignity that results from a layoff. Instead, Sandra’s co-workers offer the same excuse how they’d like to help but cannot afford it. Humiliated by having to plea for her job and desperate to abandon the effort, Sandra’s husband persists in pressing her to continue using similar arguments about how they cannot support their two children on his income alone. As a coping mechanism for her depression, Sandra takes Xanax in many of the scenes prior to ringing co-workers’ buzzers. This process of repetition had no payoff.
Although cinematography cannot rescue a poor script, a few of the scenes could have had a stronger impact by utilizing close-ups of Sandra in key moments rather than a wide shot.
Marion Cotillard is a talented actress, but unfortunately it was not put to use in Two Days, One Night.