Look at family on brink of ruin wins Cannes film plaudits

Tue May 20, 2014 11:53am EDT
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By Michael Roddy

CANNES France (Reuters) - A Belgian film starring Oscar-winning French actress Marion Cotillard as a mother who must convince co-workers to forgo a bonus to save her job and her family home won immediate rave reviews on Tuesday at the 67th Cannes film festival.

"Two Days, One Night" by brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, who are Cannes regulars and previously won the top Palme d'Or prize, came across at a press screening as a "feelgood film" despite a plot that deals with people on the lower rungs of the middle class who risk slipping into poverty.

"Cannes favorite Marion Cotillard teams up with festival veterans Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne for a brilliantly taut and telling redundancy drama," critic Peter Bradshaw wrote for The Guardian newspaper.

With five days to go before the top awards are announced on Saturday, one industry critic praised the 12-day-long festival for being "well rounded".

"We've seen some very good movies, I'd say, in all the sections ... and a fair number of ones that just make you shrug your shoulders," Variety critic Jay Weissberg told Reuters.

"I think it has been a well-rounded festival, I think that's a good word," he added.

The Dardenne film quickly jumped into the top rankings of contenders to win the crowning Palme d'Or for best picture among critics and professionals attending the prestigious festival held in the Mediterranean seaside town.

Also highly ranked, according to a survey conducted by Screen International magazine, are British director Mike Leigh's "Mr Turner" about the last years of the pre-Impressionist painter JMW Turner, and the psychological portrait "Winter Sleep" by Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan.   Continued...

Directors Luc (L) and Jean-Pierre Dardenne (R), cast member Marion Cotillard pose during a photocall for the film "Deux jours, une nuit" (Two Days, One Night) in competition at the 67th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes May 20, 2014.    REUTERS/Yves Herman