The Days and Nights of Marion Cotillard
Fabrizio Rongione and Marion Cotillard inTWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT. ©IFC Films.

Fabrizio Rongione and Marion Cotillard inTWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT. ©IFC Films.

By ANGELA DAWSON
Front Row Features

HOLLYWOOD—Marion Cotillard, the actress who won an Oscar in 2008 with her depiction of French diva Edith Piaf, is again attracting some serious awards consideration with her depiction of working class manic depressive who takes it upon herself to save her job at a small business when facing termination in “Two Days, One Night.”

The 39-year-old was in town recently to promote the Belgian film, written and directed by twin filmmakers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne. She explains that she was captivated by the script about a suicidal women’s journey back into the world having read about a rash of suicides in Europe during the economic downturn.

“It really brought back all these questions and reflections that I had, and it made sense for me to experience from the inside someone who feels useless and worthless,” the brunette beauty says, dressed in an elegant Stella McCartney ensemble.

As Sandra, she is a working class mom in suburban Belgium. After an unspecified breakdown, she returns to work to find out that management has decided it can do with one less employee, and has left it up to the remaining workers to decided whether to accept a small bonus if she is canned or allow her to return to work whereby they would receive no bonus. They have the weekend to decide before a Monday vote.

Sandra, with the help of husband (Fabio Rongione), races against time to convince each of her co-workers to sacrifice their bonus in order for her to keep her job. She travels to each one’s home to try and win their support. With each encounter, Sandra is brought into a different world with unexpected results while her fate hangs in the balance. Sandra, herself, is transformed by the experience.

“Two Days, One Night” is the official Belgian entry for this year’s Academy Awards. Cotillard says she is delighted that the small Belgian film has been getting positive notices.

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