Jenny (Adèle Haenel) runs a clinic in a rather poor area of town that she just took over from a now retired doctor. She’s the only doctor in the clinic and does her best,but also knows that she has to fight for her boundaries. So when the bell to her clinic is rung shortly after closing time, she ignores it, despite being still there. The next day, police show up at the clinic, informing her that they found the body of a dead young woman and they don’t know who she is. But it appears that it was her who rung the bell. Jenny is shocked and becomes obsessed with finding out who the woman was and what happened to her.
La fille inconnue was the perfect Double Feature with I, Daniel Blake. Like that film, it’s sociopolitical cinema that wears its heart on its sleeve and is absolutely (emotionally) engaging.
Due to depression Sandra (Marion Cotillard) has been unable to work for a while but she’s about ready to come back. That’s when she hears that her co-workers had to choose by vote between her returning to work or them getting a substantial bonus each, and they chose the bonus. Her friend Juliette (Catherine Salée) helps her to convince her boss to take the vote again on Monday, giving Sandra two days time to convince enough of her co-workers to vote for her to keep her job and forgo their bonuses.
Deux jours, une nuit has a simple set-up and structure, but one it uses extremely effectively to tackle very complex issues in a thoughtful manner. I loved it.
Cyril (Thomas Doret) lives in a foster home and tries desperately to find his dad (Jérémie Renier) who not only vanished from Cyril’s life but took Cyril’s bike with him. On one of Cyril’s excursions he makes contact with Samantha (Cécile De France). She finds Cyril’s bike and then even agrees to have Cyril visiting her on weekends. But his way is a rocky one.
The film has its weaknesses – mostly a weird ambiguity between naivité and realism – but it also has a very strong cast and captures Cyril and his situation perfectly.
Lorna (Arta Dorbroshi) is an Albanian immigrant in Belgium. To get the Belgian nationality, she married junkie Claudy (Jérémie Renier), a coup arranged by Fabio (Fabrizio Rongione), a small time criminal on the rise. After she’s got her nationality, Fabio plans to kill Claudy so that Lorna can marry a rich Russian also in search of the Belgian nationality. And then, things get really fucked up.
Le silence de Lorna is not a feel good movie. [Ha! That might well be the understatement of the year.] But it’s one that’s incredibly well acted, well written and well done in general. It’s just so very depressing…