Movies about disenfranchised Belgians wouldn’t typically get bums on seats, but the Dardenne brothers aren’t your typical filmmakers. Though their characters face a glum future, the audience is never left to wallow in misery, thanks to the brothers’ no-fuss treatment of challenging situations, and willingness to celebrate tiny triumphs along the way.
It’s not for nothing that they’ve won the prestigious Palme d’Or twice; their powerful stories of working class people resonate with the French Riviera film elite, as much as the mums and dads on struggle street.
In his review of the brothers’ latest, Two Days, One Night, Shane Danielsen says:
"Their point-of-view is liberal and humane, but never simplistic or indulgent. They take no obvious sides, simply present the issue and allow their characters to work out their dilemmas, respecting each of them enough to grant them the validity of their own reasons for doing and believing the things they do.”
SBS Movies is co-distributing Two Days, One Night in a partnership with Madman Films, and you should go and see it in cinemas now (and read Shane’s review in full here).
We also have two movies by the Dardenne Brothers available to watch for free at SBS on Demand right now:
The Dardennes won their second Palme d’Or for the morally ambiguous story of a petty criminal whose interest in his newborn baby is limited to how much it might fetch on the black market. Belatedly, he sees the error of his ways and sets out to undo his callous deed.
Lorna is an Albanian immigrant in a sham marriage that was orchestrated by her crooked sponsors. A Russian crime boss in need of citizenship comes looking for a wife, and Lorna faces the predicament of being embroiled in a plot to kill her junkie husband by an orchestrated overdose.