I liked his older works such as Kikujiro or Hanabi. Always reminded me of Bill Murray.
This one lacked the subtlety of his older films.
Two days, one night - Luc og Pierre Dardenne (2014)
The story in this movie is set over some few days in Sandra's (Marion Cotillard) life. She has been ill and got fired from her work. We follow her attempts to persuade her colleagues to reject the bonus of € 1000 they were promised if they could do her work, and let her have her job back. The firm can't afford both.
This movie can be understood on different levels. Obvious it's a critic of capitalism getting rid of people it can not use, where vulnerable groups are put against each other, and where the ill and weak have to leave first. In that aspect the movie is about solidarity that is thorn in hard times. This aspect is told in a acceptable manner - some flaws though; parts are difficult to believe in.
But the Belgian brothers Dardenne digs deeper, as this is a story about loosing connection, and the social support it is to be part of a work team. Then the movie is much more than anti-capitalistic, it is also social psychological study of fellowship ant the effect of loosing it.
Sandra is dependent on finding out who is supporting her, almost obsessed with who's her allies - actually more than getting her job back. She lays her whole life in the hands of her colleagues, makes her self totally dependent on them. In her self she is nothing, she has lost the fact that she is after all what she is and her selfworth.
It is also a story about dignity, and about Sandra that has to swallow her pride and beg her colleagues til reject the bonus. That is much money for some, essential for others, and Judas-money for some. here the move is different from typical critique of capitalism; it is not primarily the system, the firm og the boss that's the antagonists, but Sandra's colleagues. The movie is about the consequences for the individual of a rotten system. In that way it's a movie about companionship and support, more than exploitation.
Dependency and support is a topic in other areas in this movie. Sandra pops Xanor like candies, even though the doctor has told her to be careful.
In her quest for support and her hunt for allies, she abandons her children - that are dependent on her. She does not se what they need og her role in their lives. She is thus reproducing the insecurity she's experiencing in her children. The Dardenne-brothers show us here that exploitation is inherited, and that all people - the weakest also, are deeply affected by the conditions they live under. This Marxism as hardcore as it gets.
Maybe there is an echo from her own childhood here, I find myself speculating she might have been abandoned when she needed support. That might explain the severity in her depression.
The movie is made in a modern style and uses hand held camera and natural light. The editing is easy and give the movie rhythm that balancing the dark message of this movie. This works fine in this movie.
Marion Cotillard has a challenging jobb, her face is almost in every scene. That is hard work for an actor - but she is really good here. The script is not that easy to believe in all parts, but I believe in her all the way.
A rather good movie that reminds us about that all we have can be lost and if so happens we might be hit harder than we imagined.
A tale between dozens of characters interwoven by political corruption, racial tension, and human angst that makes one wonder how do we make some progress in the world. While it's somewhat old (1991), it's pretty interesting how there are plenty of recognizable faces here in small, memorable parts.
45 years - Andrew Haigh (2015)
This movie is about the last few days before the 45 years anniversary for the wedding of Kate (Charlotte Rampling) and Geoff (Tom Courternay), after Geoff has received message that his youth's love is found in a Swiss glacier where she slipped some 50 years earlier. This starts a lot of thought and feelings in both of them, and they have to rethink their marriage and their love.
Not much action going on in this movie, almost everything happens inside og between the characters.
Kate gets the impression that she has been second best for Geoff all the way, he actually loved the other woman more than her. This shakes her self understanding and her understanding of their marriage. She is the rock, the backbone in their relationship, Geoff is clumsy an at bad health - without her he wouldn't last long, but has she live on an illusion? Did he all the time dream of the other woman?
Interesting topic that might concern many - how do we handle the past of those we love, how do we tolerate the life they had before they met us?
There is a beautiful and moving end, where Geoff has held a speech for Kate, impersonal and superficial, and she is so hurt. He loves her, I believe, but he is just so lousy to show it. The very last frame doesn't promise much good for the future.
Nice movie where Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay show how good actors they are. Both got a Silver Bear each in Berlin, ans Rampling got an Academy nomination.
The movie has a quiet rhythm, small and careful camera movements. Exteriors seems just a bit overexposed - gives a greyish veil over the pictures. Nice balance between close ups and total pictures. Almost invisible editing. Sounds are important and subtle. Nice colours. All in all: good work both in front of and behind camera.
Water is a topic and a symbol in this movie, all life needs water, but it can also wipe out everything that stand in it's way.
Rhythm and lack of obvious actions may be a challenge for some, but I enjoyed this movie.