Movie Review: Two Days One Night

Movie Review: Two Days One Night

Exploring compassions' limits

By Mark HadleyWednesday 5 Nov 2014MoviesReading Time: 3 minutes

Does your compassion have a limit? We might imagine desperate circumstances wherein we’d be prepared to ‘risk all’. But this month a new film will suggest it’s in the day-to-day situations that we really fall short. 

Movie Review: Two Days One Nght 
Two Days, One Night stars Academy Award-winner Marion Cotillard as a French woman recovering from depression and seeking to reclaim her life. Sandra, married mother of two, returns to the factory where she works to take up her job only to discover her fellow employees have been handed a hard decision to make. The company is facing difficult times and has to make savings. The CEO says he can either keep Sandra’s position or pay this year’s annual bonus – not both. Sandra now has two days and one night to convince her colleagues she is worth more than a thousand Euros.

As Sandra goes from door to door she receives a selection of mundane excuses we would be very familiar with. “We really need that bonus because… I’m the only breadwinner… we need to pay our daughter’s school fees … we’re renovating the house, and the bills are so much higher than expected …” But the most honest answer is given by a lowly paid Christian contract worker:

“My God tells me that I should choose you … but I am afraid.”

Fear is the wedge that drives a gap between opportunity and action, both in the film and in our own lives. C.S. Lewis referred to this as the battle between God and the Devil for real and imagined virtues. Satan encourages us to direct our virtuous responses towards imaginary people – ‘the homeless’, ‘the starving Africans’ –  while providing us with reasons to feel comfortable about withholding it from those God has placed in our real circle of action:

“The great thing is to direct the malice to [a man’s] immediate neighbours whom he meets every day and to thrust his benevolence out to the remote circumference, to people he does not know. The malice thus becomes wholly real and the benevolence largely imaginary.”  

– and Satan’s cause is hardly threatened by imaginary virtue. But Jesus assures us there is no real cost to compassion, particularly where our Christian brothers and sisters are concerned. Certainly we will lose things in the short term, but they are often only imagined possibilities or riches that are passing away. Instead He offers a reward that is both real and lasting: an incredible return for the expression of even the smallest compassion to those God places within our circle of action:

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“If anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.”  


Rating: M
Distributor: Roadshow
Release Date: November 6, 2014