Paris Fashion Week just ended, but a French vibe continued to linger in the air at the Spyglass Rooftop Bar Sunday. Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne — aka the Dardenne brothers — and Marion Cotillard had come out to celebrate the New York Film Festival premiere of “Two Days, One Night,” their latest film.
Darren Aronofsky, Debra Winger, Don Johnson and Bruce Weber were among those toasting the trio at the intimate party hosted by Dior Beauty and the Cinema Society.
Cotillard, who had flown into town the day before, was dressed for the occasion in a trans-seasonal outfit: a baby blue overcoat from Dior’s spring collection teamed with shorts.
“In Paris, it was beautiful and I thought it was the same here, so I didn’t think about dressing for the cold,” the French actress explained. “I thought about dressing for comfort and [to] feel kind of pretty.”
For their latest movie, the Dardennes were inspired by a French case study from the early Nineties, in which factory workers accepted a bonus in exchange for one of their coworkers being let go. The brothers created Cotillard’s character Sandra, a working-class single mother who goes to each of her coworkers in an effort to convince them to reject the offer that would terminate her position.
“I think I would have approached [the role] differently not being a mom,” Cotillard, a mother of one, reflected. “I never had to fight to feed my kid, but I always thought about the people who do. When I had a hard time with my son, getting everything together, not sleeping and working and everything, I would never complain, because right away, I would think about this single mom with two kids, two jobs, and I was like, ‘You cannot complain. There’s no way.’”
As with all the other Dardenne films, this one was shot in the Belgian municipality Seraing, their industrial hometown.
“Our roots go back to that area, but when we came back as young adults, we saw that everything had fallen apart — people were out of work, people weren’t talking to each other, no sense of community,” Luc Dardenne said. “Worker solidarity was so strong when we were children that we were shocked to see that it had disappeared, and that’s why we decided to make this film that addresses that very subject of solidarity.”
This was the brothers’ sixth trip to New York, their first back in 1996. “For us, New York was a disco,” he recalled. This time, the brothers are hoping to see the Rockettes perform and visit the Frick Collection, though these may just be dreams. “When I saw the schedule they were putting together for us, it didn’t include time,” Jean-Pierre Dardenne lamented. “Maybe next time.”
Tucked away on a side wing of the rooftop, Aronofsky was sitting with his partner Brandi Milbradt, script in hand. “Just being a fan, going out,” the director summed up his film festival experience. “It was so exciting to see another Dardenne [film].” Was the director working on another movie of his own at the party? “We might be!” he exclaimed. “[I’m] pitching an idea right now.”