Rust & Bone – Review (Courier #8)

28 Mar

Marion Cotillard returns to the French arthouse scene, after her starring role in this summer’s blockbuster The Dark Knight Rises, with Rust and Bone. Directed by Jacques Audiard, of A Prophet fame, this a welcome return to French-language cinema by Cotillard; as well as a strong performance by Belgian Matthias Schoenaerts to create a drama that is garnering much praise.

Rust and Bone has a powerful story concerning a fighting drifter, Ali (Schoenaerts), who leaves Belgium with his son to live with his sister in the south of France. There, he meets Stephanie (Cotillard) in a chance encounter at a nightclub, away from her day job as a killer-whale trainer at Marineland; an oceanarium. One day, Stephanie suffers from a tragic accident at work, which will change her life forever as well as kindle a bond with Ali; who also has his own issues with his son, work and street fighting. While the plot may not sound completely original and perhaps even clichéd, the terrific performances by Cotillard and Schoenaerts make this film a realistic, intense and emotional melodrama that is only let down by the ending.

Even though love is a key theme, it is almost de-romanticised as the relationship between Ali and Stephanie takes a while to blossom and starts off awkwardly as they both come to terms with each other and the respective changes to their lives. Set in the South of France but without the glitz and glamour is a refreshing change and a brilliant and occasionally humorous script adds warmth and creates some memorable scenes.

Verdict: A masterful performance by Cotillard combinedwith the simple story of two damaged people with their awkward but romantic bond makes this a wonderful film that will linger long after the credits roll.


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