This invigorating melodrama from Jacques Audiard—the director of the compelling, multilayered prison drama A Prophet (2009)—centers on the explosive chemistry between two damaged souls. The beefy, penniless Ali and his five-year-old son have traveled south to Antibes, where they settle with Ali’s sister in the hopes of starting a new life. Ali’s part-time job as a club bouncer leads to his meeting Stéphanie, a whale trainer who becomes a double amputee after a freak accident at the marine mammal park where she works. Unfazed by Stéphanie’s disability (rendered with astonishing CGI effects), the often brutish Ali shows his gallantry by carrying her in and out of the Mediterranean on his broad back. For her part, Stéphanie takes a keen interest in Ali’s amateur ultimate-fighting bouts, eventually becoming his manager. As Ali and Stéphanie evolve from friends to casual sex partners to deeply connected soul mates—despite (or because of) their many differences and the obstacles they face—Rust and Bone becomes nothing less than a great love story, recalling the sublime melodramas of the 1950s directed by Douglas Sirk.
“Rust and Bone is impressive by its mastery, intensity and, finally, by its simplicity. (…) each frame is impeccably composed, lighted and cut while remaining at the service of the story and its protagonists. The greatest success of the film is in its characters, therefore the actors: their bodies, their allocution, their interactions, their looks, their range of feelings.”
Serge Kaganski, Les Inrockuptibles
Jacques Audiard, Thomas Bidegain. Based on the eponymous short story collection by Craig Davidson.
Stéphanie: Marion Cotillard
Alain van Versch: Matthias Schoenaerts
Sam: Armand Verdure
Louise: Céline Sallette
GENRE Drama, Romance
RUNNING TIME 120’
PRODUCTION France, Belgium, 2012
RATING Not Rated
FORMAT(S) 35, Blu-Ray, DCP, DVD
Sony Pictures Classics