Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, Two Days, One Night

Screen International, November 21, 2014 | Go to article overview

Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, Two Days, One Night


Belgian auteurs Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne talk to John Hazelton about casting their biggest star yet, Marion Cotillard, in the workplace drama, Two Days, One Night -- Belgium's foreign language Oscar entry.

"We are a bit optimistic," says Luc Dardenne with a wry smile, switching briefly from Belgian French to English to stress a point about the starkly naturalistic but deeply humanistic dramas he writes, directs and produces with his brother, Jean-Pierre.

Since making their mid-1990s breakthrough with The Promise (La Promesse), the Dardennes have been feted worldwide for a run of films -- most of them set and shot in the Belgian town of Seraing, where the brothers were born and raised -- that follow the lives of working-class characters with roving handheld cameras and an unflinching moral eye. Both 1999's Rosetta and 2005's The Child won the Palme d'Or at Cannes, while 2011's The Kid With A Bike scooped the festival's Grand Prix.

Two Days, One Night (Deux Jours, Une Nuit), which premiered in this year's Cannes Competition, continues the run but exhibits a touch more of that Dardenne optimism than was apparent in the earlier films.

Inspired by a real-life incident in the late 1990s and given an extra edge in the wake of the global economic crisis, Two Days follows troubled young mother Sandra -- played by French Oscar winner Marion Cotillard -- as she spends a weekend trying to win the support of fellow factory workers who have been forced by their boss to choose between their much-needed bonuses and the preservation of Sandra's equally needed job.

"We wanted to have a response to this incident and to what we saw happening in terms of a dissolution of solidarity in the workforce," explains Luc Dardenne, who at 60 is three years younger than his brother.

The measured optimism, adds Jean-Pierre, comes from Sandra's "struggle against the odds, and her getting to the point at the end of the film where she's able to get beyond the situation".

Casting a major international star in the lead role was a departure for the Dardennes, who usually use young or lesser-known actors. But Cotillard's involvement did not change the Dardennes' process, which involves extensive on-location planning and weeks of filmed rehearsals.

"There was a challenge in terms of bringing her into the process so that she wouldn't show up disparately against the other actors," Luc concedes. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, Two Days, One Night
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.