This is not an action movie. I wouldn’t even try this film unless if you have some taste for very realistic cinema.
That being said, there is rich food for thought here for those who make the effort. Two Days, One Night is a French film that depicts the awkward journey of a young mom who needs to fight to save her job by convincing her co-workers to vote against a large bonus in order to keep her position. In that predicament we see the direct economic relationship between people faced and discussed in a way that is usually avoided. A wonderful book from a few decades ago was E.F. Schumacher’s Small is Beautiful. The subtitle was Economics as if People Mattered. This movie is about people being forced to face the truth that people matter – and that self-interest comes with a real cost, even while that self-interest is portrayed without condemnation (for the most part).
Perhaps the best part of the film is its suggestion that solidarity may even matter more emotionally than economically. And this is portrayed very well in the main actors and the directing. Even the long takes of Marion Cotillard simply walking resolutely down the streets, trying against the odds (and her own expectations) to change her future, say a lot.
I have to say that along with the slow pace of the film there are some other weaknesses – a couple of scenes in particular didn’t work for me as they seemed quite unrealistic in the midst of a film geared toward realism. But I’ll give Two Days, One Night a solid *** and a mug up.