Marion Cotillard (La Vie en Rose, Rust and Bone) shines in this outstanding film from the Dardennes Brothers. She plays Sandra, a Belgian factory worker who faces dismissal if she can not persuade her fellow workers to forgo their €1000 bonuses to enable her to stay. She has a weekend (two days, one night) to visit all of them and try to persuade them. She is not a robust woman, having suffered from depression and apparently been admitted to hospital previously. She is cajoled by her husband to pursue this almost fairy tale series of tasks while facing frequent disappointment and the reality of her colleagues’ financially difficult lives. As in the fairy tales, Sandra becomes something of a heroic figure.
The film stands as a condemnation of the low wage economy, the culture of short-term contracts and the powerlessness of the modern worker. It is a social realist film in the tradition of Ken Loach, maker of our previous film. Cotillard, in spite of being an Oscar winning Hollywood star, takes off her makeup and convinces totally in the main role. She takes you on the journey with her and you feel every twist and turn.
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Venue: William Loveless Hall