2 Seconds (2 Secondes)

Director: Manon Briand
Screenwriters: Manon Briand

Institute History

  • 1999 Sundance Film Festival


For professional athletes, all aspects of life are viewed through the concentrated lens of their sport. Director Manon Briand brilliantly offers a glance through such a lens in 2 Seconds as she captures what it means for a champion mountain-bike racer to embrace life after she is forced to end her career.
After discovering a gray hair, Laurence pauses at the start gate before hurtling down a mountain in an otherwise flawless run. The hesitation costs her the championship by two seconds, and she is forced into retirement. Without a race to train for, she is disoriented and confused and moves to the city with her nerdy brother, Steffan. Unable to do anything but repair and ride her bike, she is thrilled to discover the career of courier. How-ever, her fellow messengers provide uneasy camaraderie, and her obsession with speed and distance are not compatible with delivering numerous packages in the financial district.
By chance, she meets Lorenzo, a cantankerous Italian bike shopkeeper and retired speed cyclist. They clash at first, but their mutual love and appreciation of cycling draw them
together. They share stories and reveal scars, both physical and emotional. Lorenzo helps ripen Laurence’s heart for romance. Briand’s delightfully entertaining script and direction couple irresistibly with Charlotte Laurier’s performance as Laurence. Her singleminded pursuit of her passion for cycling creates an innocence in the story that is both charming and inspirational. 2 Seconds is a well-crafted film about the redeeming virtue of staying true to what you love most.

Manon Briand, Director
Manon Briand studied film at Concordia University in Montreal. After graduation she wrote and directed several highly awarded short films. In 1996 she and five others codirected the feature film Cosmos, which screened at the Director’s Fortnight at Cannes and went on to win the Art and Essai Award. Her first solo feature, 2 Seconds, premiered at the Montreal World Film Festival, where it won awards for best director and best first feature as well as the Audience Award for best Canadian film.

— Shari Frilot

Screening Details

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