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Summary 10 great
Rust and Bone (De rouille et d’os)
Release year: 2012
Director: Jacques Audiard
Screenwriter: Jacques Audiard, Thomas Bidegain, Craig Davidson (short story)
Starring: Marion Cottilard, Matthias Schoeneaerts, Armand Verdure, Céline Sallette, Corinne Masiero, Bouli Lanners, Jean-Michel Correia
Ratings: 2 Golden Globe nomination: Best Actress Drama (Marion Cotillard), Best Foreing Language Film. Cannes (nominee Palme d’Or).
After being put in charge of his young son Sam (Verdure), Alain (Schoeneaerts) moves from Belgium to Antibes to live with his sister Louise (Sallette). He meets Stéphanie (Cotillard) who works as a killer whale trainer. After a tragic accident, the two wounded souls connect in a way, they can’t connect with others.
Based on Craig Davidson’s short story by the same name, Audiard’s (Un prophète, 2009) romantic drama is a tour de force of emotion. Led by incredible strong performances the movie shifts easily between stunningly beautiful and heartbreakingly raw as we follow the struggles of the people, who, despite their differences, find an understanding for each other. As Stéphanie, the talented Cotillard (La vie en rose, 2007) delivers one of the best performances of her brilliant career, showing her both her physical and psychological wounds with grace and a strength, while her male co-star Schoenaerts (Bullhead, 2011) equally impresses. Where Stéphanie is physically crippled with internal strength, Alain is physically strong but emotionally wounded. When the two get together, magic happens. A perfect example of the contrasts in the movie is the two’s first trip to the beach together. With Cotillard’s sense of showing nuanced emotions, we feel every shame and frustration from her character before the scene moves onto a scene of diamonds glistering on the water while we are filled with hope and the simple beauty of life. You move between despair, joy, sadness and wonder and Audiard makes the move between the variety of emotions glide effortless. Instead of feeling confused, it creates a realistic feeling. This is how life is, a roller-coaster of ups and downs. This could easily just have been a story about Stéphanie adjusting to her new life after the tragedy, you wouldn’t have feel cheated, but Rust and Bone is about so much more. It is about the pain that shapes us and the people who stand by and who is sometimes hurt along the process. Young Verdure (in his only starring role so far) is one of those child actors who just works. In every way. Though far from in every scene, he is somehow present all the way and his character ends up shaping the lives of those around him more than anything else. He has a strong connection with especially Shoenaerts and as a fragile soul, you feel sorry for what he endures, until you realize, that the strong grown-ups around him are perhaps just as fragile as he is. A passionate, powerful and incredible moving love story that will stay with you and which, thanks to its many nuances, will have you re-watch it again and again. Highly recommended.
The film is the first, and so far, only, film by Jacques Audiard which didn’t receive a single award at Cannes, where it competed for the Palme d’Or. It received a ten-minute standing ovation at the end of its screening at the festival.
Picture copyright: Camera Film