Two Days, One Night: 50 Shades of Blue

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Two Days, One Night:  50 Shades of Blue

The conventional thinking would be that Marion Cotillard knocked it out of the park in the French drama “Two Days, One Night.”  How else can one explain her Best Actress Academy Award nomination for a film in a foreign language?  Best Actor and Actress awards for parts in foreign films have to be really impressive to make the cut.  Cotillard did just that in 2007 when she was nominated and won Best Actress for “La Vie en Rose.”  But in all complete honesty I cannot imagine how she made the cut this time around.

In “Two Days, One Night” Cotillard plays Sandra, a clinically depressed young wife and mother.  Out of work for some time due to her depression, she finds that her coworkers have been given an option:  get a big, much deserved bonus or pass the pay up so that Sandra can return to the workplace.  Now it is up to Sandra to convince her coworkers to save her job.  And she has only one weekend to do it.

The premise is timely and the execution very raw, intimate and gritty.  But it is really hard to care about a character who seems to not even care for herself.   No matter, this is how depression is, right?   Cotillard excels in her portrayal of having the blues.  And in spite of some brief highs and lots of lows, all we get are various shades of blue.   There are no other colors in her pallet.  Sad, depressed, hopeful, devastated, it does not matter.  Cotillard’s emotions run the gamut of A to almost B.  More emotion is displayed by any number of actors that only have a brief scene with her.

I can understand why Cotillard plays her character the way she does.  Depression is a real illness and does not go away instantly because some small thing goes your way.  In that respect I find her performance to be true.  My beef is with her nomination.   This is not an Academy Award worthy performance because it is not an Academy Award worthy role.  It is however a role with a female lead and those are like a rare species for the 2014 Oscars.  So rare that they could not even come up with 5 American movies with strong female roles.

While there is a lot of hollering about diversity of race in American movies, I would argue that the very first area films need to diversify in is in its roles for women-of any color!

 


“Two Days, One Night” weeps 2&1/2 Red Vines for being a disappointing experience

 


Previews of these movies were provided to me by the studios but it in no way affects my unbiased review.