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The world was surprised last week when Oscar nominations were announced and they skipped over Jennifer Aniston for Best Lead Actress.  In Cake, her portrayal of a pain med-addicted, depressed woman is nothing short of amazing.

The list of women in the Best Lead Actress category included a name most people were surprised to see: Marion Cotillard, included for her role in the French language film Two Days, One Night. I wrote in my Oscar snubs article, “Marion Cotillard and Two Days, One Night? What is this movie? Has anyone seen it? Word is it was her nom that pushed out Aniston’s.”

After watching the trailer for the film, I felt it was my responsibility to say that it is not a shock Cotillard was nominated. Reportedly, her performance is one of the most exquisite of all time.

Two Days is the latest film by the acclaimed Belgian writer-director duo, brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne. The movie follows Sandra (Cotillard), a Belgian woman who, upon returning to work after a nervous breakdown, finds that her co-workers have voted to have her let go. They had to vote between her keeping her job and them receiving much-needed bonuses. Sandra convinces her boss to call for a revote and the movie follows Sandra, with her supportive husband by her side, as she visits coworkers and asks them to choose her job over their hard-earned extra cash that they all badly need.

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Two Days asks the question of whether people are willing to put aside their own self-interest in the name of compassion and empathy. It follows a woman who must be brave in the face of adversity. Two Days is also a harrowing look into the lives of the many in this world who are scraping to make ends meet. These are some deep, poignant themes.

The movie and Cotillard are getting rave reviews, to put it mildly. Viewers of the trailer are spellbound when reading the amazing critical acclaim pasted on the screen.

Some examples:

“A career-high performance by Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard.” -Time Out

“A moving and meticulous moral fable.” -The New York Times

“Superb. Infused with the suspense of a ticking-clock thriller.” -Variety

“An emotional rollercoaster. Beautiful and deeply moving.” -Film Comment

“Marion Cotillard is flat-out brilliant.” -The Wall Street Journal

The film is Belgian’s entry for Best Foreign Film and it looks like a shoe-in for that category for sure. And perhaps Cotillard will take home the award for Best Lead Actress as well.

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