Friday, December 19, 2014

Two Days One Night: Dardenne Brothers Interview

Typically working with new or non-professional actors, in their latest film, Two Days One Night,  Belgian filmmaking brothers Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne cast an international star, Marion Cotillard, as Sandra, a working mother just fired from a solar energy plant. A recent management scam has placed the onus of downsizing on workers, who are offered a bonus if they vote to operate with one less employee, resulting in Sandra’s dismissal. As might be expected,  with her customary precision, Cotillard delivers an astute, nervy performance that oscillates between anxiety and determination as she tries to get her job back.  
While, in a very different context, unemployment was also the focus of Rosetta, the Dardenne's break-out film—it reportedly aided  the passing of a labor bill, Rosetta’s Law, to protect young people—Two Days One Night tersely dramatizes  the issue of worker solidarity in a toxically competitive world. In 1999, Rosetta won the Palme d'Or by unanimous vote at Cannes. 
Interview, introduction, transcript and translation by Liza Béar.