Between Two Worlds

In Between Two Worlds, it’s described there is a job crisis in France. Rampant unemployment, people living paycheck to paycheck, and many trying to scavenge up the harshly limited hours from any job they can just to try and make ends meet. But what are these people really like? What are their lives like? How do they live within such harsh and unforgiving circumstances that seem, on paper and in the news, almost unbearable? How can we understand?

"an interesting take on a modern issue and the morality that surrounds it"

When we first meet Marianne (Juliette Binoche), she’s in an employment office, and like many, is trying to scrounge up hours for a minimally waged and thankless job. Her story is that she was married for over twenty years and didn’t need to work, hence the large gap in employment and total lack of experience. She’s starting over and off the grid, abandoning her previous life…at least…that’s what she says. In reality, she’s a famous author, undercover to investigate the issues and exploitation the everyday working-class people face. For her research, she manages to get a job as a cleaning lady. The work is physically exhausting, quite gross, borderline demeaning, but…the people, she finds, are what help her make it through. None more so than the guarded, tough, yet sweet single mother, Christèle (Hélène Lambert).

We see Marianne take notes of the jobs, the techniques she learns, the chastising remarks from employers and customers, all the while she’s forming real bonds that with those around her that she seems to have developed a genuine and deep care for, despite her kept identity. The secret, though simmering as a constant thread of tension, doesn’t keep us from enjoying Marianne’s experience with the generous people she’s with. We know the reveal will come, and of course it does. But what is good about Between Two Worlds, is that the film and its director, Emmanuel Carrère, knows exactly what it is, and it doesn’t try to make the film overly profound or dramatic. Its strength lies in its simplicity and reality. And because of that, it actually feels more powerful because of that. It leaves the audience to decide how they should feel about Marianne’s acts and intentions. Between Two Worlds 

And of course, I don’t need to sit here and tell you that Binoche is extraordinary with her tired eyes, quiet strength, and suppressed guilt. But it is, in fact, newcomer Lambert as Christèle that almost completely steals that show from Binoche with her powerful and raw performance. And there is a slew of first-timers that round out the cast, and each are amazing in their own right that keep the film feeling natural and full of generosity.

Between Two Worlds isn’t a piece that is totally going to blow your socks off, but it’s an interesting take on a modern issue and the morality that surrounds it and those involved within it. There are moments of delight, guilt, grief, and much more that are felt through the great people and performances of everyone.

Between Two Worlds is now available on Blu Ray courtesy of Kino Lorber.

3/5 stars


Between Two Worlds

Blu-ray Details

Home Video Distributor: Cohen Media Group
Available on Blu-ray
- September 12, 2023
Screen Formats: 2.39:1
: English; forced subtitles
French: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Famed author Marianne Winckler (Juliette Binoche) goes undercover to investigate the exploitation of the working class in Northern France. She eventually lands a job as a cleaner on the cross-channel ferry and develops close connections with the other cleaning women, many of whom have extremely limited resources and income opportunities. As she learns more about the plight of these workers, Marianne struggles with her deception toward them and tries to rationalize that it’s for the greater good. A longtime passion project for star and Academy Award®-Winning Actress Juliette Binoche, Between Two Worlds is adapted from Florence Aubenas’s bestselling non-fiction work Le Quai de Ouistreham (The Night Cleaner) and marks Emmanuel Carrère’s return to directing for the first time since The Moustache in 2008. Carrère has achieved world renown and acclaim as an author and has been described by The New Yorker as “France’s best-known writer of literary nonfiction.”


Presented in a 2.39:1 aspect ratio, the 1080p transfer shows off cinematographer Patrick Blossier’s naturalistic and simple photography quite well. There’s a nice palette of cool colors shown off and the picture is pleasant and clear.


It’s not a film that necessarily is made to show off the 5.1 surround sound audio that’s included on this release, but nonetheless, between music, dialogue, and everything between, all come in crisp and clear in a nice sounding mix. No issues here.


Pretty much nothing to see here, unfortunately. But as such a small film, I guess it isn’t all that surprising.


  • None

Special Features:

  • Trailer

Blu-ray Rating

  Movie 3/5 stars
  Video  4/5 stars
  Audio 4/5 stars
  Extras 1/5 stars

Composite Blu-ray Grade

3/5 stars


Film Details

Between Two Worlds

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
106 mins
: Emmanuel Carrère
Florence Aubenas; Emmanuel Carrère; Hélène Devynck
Juliette Binoche; Louise Pociecka; Steve Papagiannis
: Drama

Memorable Movie Quote:
Theatrical Distributor:
France TV Distribution
Official Site:
Release Date:
January 12, 2022
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
September 12, 2023
Synopsis: Stars Binoche as Marianne Winckler, a well-known author who decides to write a book on job insecurity and sets off to experience it firsthand. As she becomes a cleaning lady, she discovers a precarious life and finds herself invisible in society, but also forges genuine bonds with some of her companions in misfortune. These friendships are put to the test when the truth comes out.


Between Two Worlds