Marion Cotillard has impressed critics with her performance in Two Days, One Night ‘Deux Jours, Une Nuit’ after the film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival on Tuesday (20th May).

Marion Cotillard
Marion Cotillard shined as much in the film as at the premiere of Two Days, One Night.

The film centres on Sandra (Cotillard), a working class woman who, with the threat of unemployment looming, is forced to ask her colleagues to give up their bonuses so she can keep her job. Sandra is aided in her quest by her husband Manu, played by Un village français actor Fabrizio Rongione.

Two Days, One Night was penned and directed by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne. The Dardenne brothers have won Cannes’ highest award twice during their prolific careers, the Palme d’or. Once for their 1999 film Rosetta and more recently in 2005 for L’enfant. Two Days, One Night may well be a contender for the Palme d’or throne with its down to earth portrayal of employment rights particularly in the current economy.

Fabrizio Rongione
Fabrizio Rongione stars opposite Cotillard in Two Days, One Night.

Whilst the topic in questions may appear depressing, it is an accurate portrayal of situations many of us face today. Critics have echoed this sentiment and praised the Dardenne brothers for their realistic portrayal. Todd McCarthy (THR) wrote “Two Days, One Night grips from start to finish with its candid account of a situation that for many will be relatable.” Whilst Robbie Collins (The Telegraph) believes the film has “serious political heft” owing to its subject matter.

Read more: Cannes Film Festival 2014: Our Top Five Palme d'Or Winner Predictions.

Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, Marion Cotillard
Jean-Pierre (L) and Luc (R) Dardenne, writers and directors, with Marion Cotillard at the film's premiere.

Critics have been quick to comment that, whilst Cotillard is the star of Two Days, One Night and a major one at that, the drama is created by the reaction of the other characters in response to Sandra’s uncomfortable speech. As Collins points out the film consists of “a series of confrontations” but it is “the wild variety in her colleagues’ reactions that fires the drama.” This is certainly evident from the trailer in which we can see the colleagues reacting violently, sorrowfully or sternly to Sandra after she delivers an impassioned speech to each.

Marion Cotillard
Marion Cotillard's dress was made up of various coloured beads.

Although the drama rests squarely on the shoulders of the other actors, this is not to suggest Cotillard is an underwhelming presence in the film. Quite the contrary in fact as critics have highly praised her performance noting how dowdy she appears in contrast to her more glitzy A-List roles. Peter Bradshaw (Guardian) wrote Cotillard “is restrained and dignified, and again Cotillard shows what a marvellous technical actor she is: every nuance and detail is readably present on her face.”

Read more: Cannes: Marion Cotillard Shines In Another Hard-Hitting Drama, 'Two Days, One Night'.

Jean-Pierre Dardenne
Jean-Pierre Dardenne at the Two Day, One Night premiere in Cannes.

As much as Cotillard’s performance shone in Two Days, One Night, so the actress did at the premiere of the film yesterday (20th May). The actress appeared wearing an unusual embellished dress made up of a variety of coloured beads. She was joined on the red carpet by co-star Rongione and the Dardenne brothers.

Two Days, One Night is released in the UK on 22nd August.

Luc DardenneLuc Dardenne, alongside his brother Jean-Pierre, have won the Palme d'or twice.