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Two Days, One Night
The Criterion Collection
(Blu-ray)

review by Zach B.

 



MPAA Rating:
PG-13

Running Time: 95 Minutes

Starring: Marion Cotlilard, Fabrizio Rongione, Christelle Cornill, Olivier Gourmet, Catherine Salée

Screenplay by and Directed by: Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne

 


Studio: Criterion

Retail Price: $39.95

Features: Interview with Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne, Interviews with Marion Cotillard and Fabrizio Rongione, On Location, Léon M.'s Boat Went Down the Meuse for the First Time featuring an introduction with the Dardennes, To Be an I, Trailer

Specs: 1.85:1 Widescreen Screen 1080p High Definition, French DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, English Subtitles, Chapters (22 Chapters)

Released: August 25th, 2015







Two Days, One Night is presented in 1080p High Definition, with the widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1. The transfer, which was supervised by the directors and director of photography Alain Marcoen, is a stunner. Fleshtones are accurate, and detail is astonishing — you can literally see the pores on the faces of the actors' in some close shots. Black levels are solid, and color saturation is smooth and vibrant — to the point where everything pops out, but does not smear. There is a tremendous crispness and depth to the image as well — this is the most pristine transfer for a recent film I have seen in a long, long time. This lush transfer gets a perfect score.




Two Days, One Night features a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track in French. The movie is dialogue driven, so it is not meant to have a bevvy of surrounds. With that in mind, dialogue is clear and always to hear — usually planted firmly in the center channel. Some background noises in Sandra's house does fill the speakers at times, as does the sounds of the every day, which do add life to the proceedings. Here and there a discrete surround comes through, while the use of the .1 LFE is minimal at best. Still, given this is a personal drama that relies on character and not action, it is to be expected and works well. Fidelity is fairly high, and dynamic range is solid as well in this suitable, uncluttered mix. 

English subtitles are included.


 


Settle in, everyone — Criterion has put together a very fine collection of supplements for this release. First up is an Interview with Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne. Running a whopping 51 minutes, the brothers discuss how the movie was inspired by a published sociological study, before launching into discussions of Sandra as a character, the nature of the work force, the people in Sandra's orbit, moral choices and much, much more. Passionate and insightful, this is a must see for anyone who liked the film.

Running a bit over 22 minutes are Interviews with Marion Cotillard and Fabrizio Rongione. The actors discuss their characters separately, and offer plenty of insights about them within the film's story. The two are absorbing when giving their thoughts.

On Location is a piece that runs about 37 minutes, where the Dardenne Brothers return to four shooting locations from the movie, and offer stories and thoughts about these places. The locations are titled Timur and the soccer field, Willy's house, Anne's place and Mireille/Reflections on solidarity. They even re-enact some scenes, and we see scenes from the final film.

Linking nicely with the film is a 1979 documentary the brothers made called When Léon M.'s Boat Went Down the Meuse for the First Time. Running 40 minutes, the doc focuses on a strike that occured in Belgium during 1960. The brothers also offer a nearly-21 minute Interview on the documentary, discussing this early work and filmmaking background, and how it later influenced their feature length narratives.

To Be an I is an 8 and-a-half minute video essay from critic and filmmaker Kent Jones, where he uses Two Days, One Night as a focal point in discussing the themes and ideas that have come into play in the previous films of the brothers. This short piece about "the cinema of hope" is concise and interesting, and certainly encourages those who watch it to seek out the previous work of the Dardennes.

The film's Trailer is included, as well as an essay from critic Girish Shambu.


The great humanist filmmakers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne have crafted another gripping tale with Two Days, One Night — which is enhanced by the fine performances, led by Marion Cotillard. Criterion has put together a stellar release for the film: a flawless transfer, a fine 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio sound mix and in-depth supplements. For fans of the filmmakers and foreign film, this is another worthy addition to your movie collection.