Two Days, One Night

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Two Days, One Night

***1/2

 

“It’s the economy, stupid” was written on the wall of Bill Clinton’s campaign headquarters. He went on to comfortably win two elections.

“I’m With Her,” read Hillary Clinton’s campaign slogan. Though it may as well have read “Please don’t ask me about the economy. Those uncomfortable debates with Bernie made me not want to talk about it.”

For most people, the economy is the most important issue. For people who don’t have a decent job, the economy is the only issue. Social issues don’t matter when your mortgage is two months past due.

The official Democratic Party spin is to blame Putin and Comey. But Hillary Clinton is no fool. She knows what really happened. She knows that she would be President right now if she had taken the time to promise working people something.

Clinton didn’t even have to promise anything realistic or logical. She just had to demonstrate that she cared about the economic plight of some voters.

If she had said: “I promise to give a $50,000 federal job to every person under 5’3’’,” she absolutely would have won. There are 100,000 short women in Pennsylvania and Michigan who would have thought: “I was leaning toward Trump. But $50k a year?! I’m With Her!”

“Two Days, One Night” is a gut-wrenching Belgian drama about a family on the edge of financial oblivion.

Sandra (Marion Cotillard) is about to return to work after an extended illness and she discovers that her job might not be there. On Monday, everyone at the office will vote on whether to keep her on or lay her off. The catch is: if Sandra gets laid off, everyone else gets a 1000 euro bonus.

Granted, this is a silly and contrived premise. But it sets the stage for a compelling race against time as Sandra travels around town trying to lobby her co-workers to vote for mercy rather than money.

Sandra’s husband is supportive and patient. But you can see that the situation is wearing on him. He signed up to be a husband and father of two children. And now he’s starting to feel like he is becoming the father of three children.

Marion Cotillard gives the performance of a lifetime. You absolutely forget that she’s a beautiful actress. As Sandra, she is disheveled, desperate, and guilt-ridden. She teeters right on the edge of mental illness and you feel like she could tip over at any time.

Life is difficult enough as it is. What will happen if it I lose my job?, the film makes you ask. Will I lose my house? My family? My self-worth? My happiness? My sanity? I can’t imagine being so financially and emotionally secure as to withstand a few years without a full-time job.

That’s why I chuckle at the malcontents who are taking to the streets to protest the Travel Ban or Milo’s speeches or whatever they are angry about this week.

Here are the hard facts: If President Trump can somehow get blue collar Americans back to work, he will be the most popular President since Bill Clinton. And if cutting up TPP, renegotiating NAFTA, and rolling back regulations does not bring jobs back like he promises, Trump will be a hated one-term failure.

It’s the economy, stupid. It always has been.

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