This is a Belgian film, that is making all the news in Hollywood. Fresh from a premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in two separate categories, the Dardenne brothers have woven a tale together that involves pitting a wife, a mother, fighting for her job, against an unfair system in practice at her workplace.
The lady is a working-class woman, who simply wants to make a living from her job but that has proven to be far too difficult than is necessary. The woman (Marion Cotillard) is interested in changing a decision taken by her employer in firing her, and she approaches this with zero tolerance/trepidation.
The whole film is very Dardenne-territory, because recent changes in employment regulations, such as, self-evaluations at work, co-worker evaluations, shocking firings, contractual purchases, are all explored through the dusty cinemascope of French cinema.
Cotillard plays Sandra, a young woman who works for a solar-panel company but then loses that job when her co-workers vote against losing their bonuses of 1,000 euros each, over her firing – its a scenario of either Sandra goes or their lucrative bonuses go.
Sandra, herself decides to fight the vote and goes on a marathon run of sorts to change the other employees minds and let her keep her job, but she has only two days to do this. She does not talk about a return to welfare housing that is looming over her, if she loses this job, nor does she talk about the difficulties she now faces on raising two children, with a barely there family income of her husband: a cook.
She instead, talks about how unfair the vote was, how unfair the nature of the vote was. The Dardenne film takes one of the strongest anxieties of the 21st Century “job security” and translates it into a film that explores fundamental workplace issues, distant from emotional sensitivity.
Film rating: 8/10.