Deux Jours, Une Nuit (aka Two Days, One Night) (2014)
In a small industrial town in Belgium, a fragile wife and mother (Marion Cotillard) recovering from a bout of depression finds herself the sacrificial lamb at her place of work. The management tells the 16 other employees they must vote to keep their pay bonuses or let her go. If they elect to keep her on, they forfeit their pay bonus. The film follows her during the weekend as she makes her plea to her fellow employees to forfeit their bonus and keep her on. As cinema, this isn't a particularly compelling narrative and the burden is placed on the actress in the central role to carry the film. In this case, Cotillard does an astonishing job and I do mean astonishing! It's not an actressy role with any "big" scenes and "Oscar bait" moments. It's an interior performance and Cotillard inhabits Sandra thoroughly in her body language, the way she walks, the way she picks up a phone, the way she drinks her water etc. that she makes the film near riveting. The film makers, Jean Pierre and Luc Dardenne, don't give the ending we want but they allow Sandra her righteous dignity. The film makes as good an argument as any for unions though that is not the film's intent. With Fabrizio Rongione as Cotillard's husband.