Rust and Bone
Rust and Bone (De rouille et d'os)
(Jacques Audiard, 2012)
Reviewed by Dave Lancaster
Summary: A searing drama anchored by an awards worthy duo of expertly judged performances, 'Rust and Bone' has real weight.
While you wouldn't think it when watching Jacques Audiard's French drama, 'Rust and Bone' is actually based on a collection of short stories by Canadian writer Craig Davidson - an author whose edgy style, comedic undertones and gritty subject matter echo Chuck Palahniuk and Bret Easton Ellis.
Director Jacques Audiard is best known for the brilliant prison drama 'A Prophet' that scooped the Grand Prix at Cannes in 2010. 'Rust and Bone' hovers between this literary weight and visual elegance to create a beguiling, if a touch uneven, drama with weighty themes of loss and pain.
It centres around two crushed souls: Ali (Matthias Schoenaerts - an excellent film newcomer), a single father who takes jobs in dodgy security firms and bareknuckle backyard fighting to support (and really distract) himself. Through his job as a bouncer he meets the flirty, headstrong Stephanie (Marion Cotillard) who gets into a fight and he takes her home.
They part, but when they reunite she's gone through a significant change: she is a whale trainer who suffers an incident at work that causes her to lose her legs. Her sudden fragility causes Ali to rethink his own apparent strength which is truly tested by the time the narrative eventually reaches its coda.
'Rust and Bone' is a slow descent into dark territories that deserve exploring, but Audiard's script doesn't make it clear why we are exploring them and even why the two principle characters got together in the first place. But its truths are hard to ignore, as is the incredible (and tasteful) use of minimal CGI to remove Cotillard's legs. It's subtle uses of visual effects like this that actually enrich the characters that should secure Oscar nominations, but alas it was overlooked.
The Blu-ray contains a brief look into the effects as well as an hour-long surprisingly candid making-of, a commentary and some deleted scenes.
Check out the theatrical trailer and more stills from 'Rust and Bone' HERE at Cinemas Online.
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