Interview: The Dardenne brothers on their new masterpiece, Two Days, One Night

Over two decades and seven features, the Belgian sibling filmmakers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne (Rosetta, L’Enfant) have established themselves as the surest thing in arthouse cinema. True to its title, their international breakthrough, 1996’s La Promesse, actually was a kind of promise—a guarantee of quality the brothers have yet to violate. They seem, quite simply, incapable of making an unexceptional film. Even by their own high standards, however, the Dardennes’ latest, Two Days, One Night, is a stunner. For the first time ever, the two have cast a movie star, Marion Cotillard, as their protagonist. Casting aside all traces of vanity, the actress plays a depressed family woman whose livelihood lands on the chopping block; she has one weekend to convince a majority of her dozen or so co-workers to vote for her continued employment instead of their annual bonus. This door-to-door, hat-in-hand odyssey unfolds in surprising …

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