Quickie: Rust and Bone

Rust and BoneAlain (Matthias Schoenaerts) is put in charge of his young son and takes a job as a nightclub bouncer to earn a wage. When he helps killer whale trainer Stéphanie (Marion Cotillard) home after a fight, the two part ways, but after she is the victim of a horrific accident that severs both her legs, she leans on him for support and the two strike up a bond.

The story of Rust and Bone (De rouille et d’os in its mother tongue) is so typically French: unusual, quirky, heart warming, but also often harsh and brutal. It strikes a nice balance between being character and narrative driven, which really helps you become invested in the characters and what they become. The film splits its time between Alain and Stéphanie, both of whom have their obvious issues, but more of the focus falls on Alain, which is unfortunate as his story is the least interesting of the two and some may find him rather difficult to relate to based on some of his actions.

One of the standout features of Rust and Bone is its cinematography; virtually every shot is simply stunning. Whether capturing Stéphanie swimming for the first time since her accident or Alain’s gritty world of underground boxing, Jacques Audiard’s direction and Stéphane Fontaine’s cinematography is nothing short of breathtaking.

One of the few contentious issues with the film is its ending. It is too easy a conclusion that focuses far too much on the destination for these characters rather than the journey and, as such, may not feel fully satisfying. Having said that, Rust and Bone is a real life-affirming film about overcoming whatever demons you may have and is one of 2012’s real gems.

4 pigeons

4/5 pigeons

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39 thoughts on “Quickie: Rust and Bone

  1. Mr Rumsey says:

    Nice review, this was one of my favourite films (if not my favourite) of last year! Glad to see that you gave it 4/5 pigeons.

  2. I still haven’t got round to this one… but I’ve heard good things and A Prophet is one of my favourite films from the last few years. Nice review. Will definitely be checking this one out…

  3. ckckred says:

    I’m very interested in seeing this one. Nice review.

  4. Havent seen it yet Chris, so I skipped to the score. Nice to hear you think highly of it, it is on my to see list. Just waiting for it to hit cable or something now, I guess. 😦

  5. keith7198 says:

    Nice review. I liked it although I thought at times it was unnecessarily provocative. For me it was Cotillard who shined brightest. What a performance.

    • Thanks Keith, I can see why you’d think it was overly provocative. The tone and themes were quite polarizing and at odds with each other at times. Cotillard was brilliant, she’s an amazing actress. Her part of the story was the most interesting part for me.

  6. Coincidentally this one just got a wide release in Mexico this weekend. I hope a lot of people check it out. I loved it and I think it’s my favorite from 2012. Great review!

  7. Tyson Carter says:

    Looking forward to this, nice write up buddy 🙂

  8. sati says:

    I really adored Cotillard’s work but I didn’t buy the story, I too felt ending was rushed. Also it was so depressing – she would never look at a guy like Ali but since she lost her legs she had to settle for him, probably not even allowing herself to realize she deserves better.

    • That’s interesting that you thought she had to settle for him and I actually do tend to agree with you, I hadn’t really thought of it like that. I don’t think she’s supposed to be completely sweetness and light though; she goes to clubs and picks up random guys. And Ali does show his caring side when he’s with her, he shows that he’s not always so bad, so maybe that swings it for her.

  9. Hmmm that sounds interesting, have not had a chance to check this out yet.

  10. ruth says:

    Wow, another rave review of this film. I like Marion Cotillard a lot and sounds like this is a true ‘acting’ role for her, and what a heartbreaking story. I like your final sentence there Chris… “…life-affirming film about overcoming whatever demons you may have…” That certainly sounds intriguing!

    • Cotillard is brilliant in this, she’s such a brilliant actress! It is quite shocking at times to see her without any legs though! I highly recommend checking this out. There are parts of it that are hard to watch too though, it’s not a totally positive film, but it’s an absorbing watch. Thanks Ruth!

      • ruth says:

        I respect that she went for such a challenging role! A lot of beautiful actresses often like to stay in their comfort zone and always look glamorous (i.e. Jennifer Aniston), but Marion is willing to stretch herself.

      • Yeah that’s a very good point, she does take quite varied roles and that can only benefit her acting ability. Like you say, you just can’t imagine someone like Jennifer Aniston doing anything like this at all.

  11. thedavidryan says:

    Delightful review! I’ve been meaning to watch this for some time. Any film with Cotillard will always get my attention – amirite guys?!

  12. Beer Movie says:

    Nice review man. I really liked this film. The whole thing should be really trite and cliche, but manages to somehow avoid that. And whilst I take your point about the ending, I was actually ok with it. I was really crushed by the ending they tease (i’m trying to avoid spoilers) that I was just overwhelmed with relief by the ‘happy’ ending that it has.

    • Cheers! Yeah I get what you mean about the ending they tease, that whole scene was so tense and a real gut puncher. I just felt it was a little like they tacked on a super happy ending which felt a little at odds with the rest of the film. Not a huge gripe at all though. And you’re right, it could easily have been really cliche but I think the grittiness stops that from happening.

  13. Ewan M says:

    I was all set to give up on this film after the words “killer whale trainer” in your review 😉 However, maybe that’s unfair! It sounds like something worth checking out, and I’ve liked plenty of Audiard’s films in the past… Cheers for the review.

    • What? You mean a film about a killer whale trainer doesn’t automatically grab your attention?! 😉 Fortunately there’s a lot more to it than that, although the scene with the killer whales are pretty amazing. This was the first of Audiard’s films i’ve seen but I’d definitely be interested in seeing more of them.

  14. filmhipster says:

    Still haven’t seen this but nice review Chris. Love films that have rust, bone and personal demons. But not in that order.

  15. Garrett says:

    Man, I really need to see this! I’ve heard some great things about it. Most things with Cotillard in it are worthwhile. Very nice review.

  16. Popcorn Nights says:

    Really getting keen to see this! I love his previous two films, although I’m not expecting it to be as good as A Prophet. Hope it drops through my letterbox soon.

  17. Alex Withrow says:

    Nice review! I love the hell out of this movie – by far my favorite from last year. Really glad you liked (and pointed out) Stéphane Fontaine’s amazing cinematography. Such a gorgeous looking film.

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