‘Rust and Bone’ Movie Review – Simply Beautiful
Jacques Audiard’s latest film, Rust and Bone is without a doubt one of the most beautiful films I have seen this year. Written by Audiard himself and Thomas Bidegain, based on a short story collection by Craig Davidson, Rust and Bone follows Ali (Matthias Schoenaerts) who, along with his son Sam (Armand Verdure), moves in with his sister Anna (Corinne Masiero) in Antibes, in the south of France. As Ali tries to get back on his feet, he finds a job as a bouncer at a night club where he meets Stéphanie (Marion Cotillard) when he comes to her help and drives her home.
Stéphanie trains orca whales at Marineland, but when one of the shows ends in tragedy, Stéphanie loses her legs and a bit of her will to live. Finding Ali’s phone number, which he left her the night they met, she gives him a call. The two find they have an unlikely connection and will change each other for the better.
When a story features a character losing their legs, the easiest path to take for a writer would be to focus the story on that character and their struggle coming to terms with that, but that’s not really where Rust and Bone goes and that’s what makes it so great. The fact that Stéphanie loses her legs is of course a big element of the story, but it is more of a plot device for them to reconnect and it doesn’t overpower the heart of the tale, which is a love story. Even more, a story like this would be at risk of so many typical cliches, but instead it finds the truth in the story and its characters.
Marion Cotillard and Matthias Schoenaerts are the shining lights of the film. They bring these characters alive with some raw and real performances. Seeing them on screen is magical and they will transport you into their world for 120 minutes which will go by in a flash. There are so many powerful scenes in the film that I would do them a disservice mentioning them specifically, they are better experienced.
I don’t want to say too much more about it because I don’t think words can describe the experience of watching the film. There is something very powerful about it that will make you think of it for weeks to come. The study of these characters is formidable and this is an absolute must-see for me.
Rust and Bone opens to theaters in New York today, November 23rd and will open in Los Angeles on December 7th.
You can watch the trailer for the film here.