Sunday, February 15, 2015


For me, it can be difficult to set school work aside, even on a three day weekend. For example, in my English classes right now, my students and I are focusing on the elements of fiction and plot structure, and so this afternoon when I was watching Marion Cotillard's Oscar-nominated performance in the French-language film Two Days, One Night, I was all about how that story of a woman who was forced to lobby her co-workers to give up their bonuses to save her job was being shaped.

At first, I found that I was a little confused at the lack of exposition, but also drawn in by the same, and then I noticed that I was marking events as they unfolded as "rising action". And when it came to a scene in the hospital that was clearly not the "climax", if one defined the conflict as the character of Sandra trying to get her job back, but was obviously the pivotal event of the movie, I had a true a-ha moment: in addition to realizing the central conflict was internal, not external, I also recognized that those little zig-zag diagrams can really be helpful!

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