Rust and Bone (15)

Film

Drama

Rust and Bone.jpg

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>2</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5
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Time Out says

Posted: Thu May 17 2012

French filmmaker Jacques Audiard’s latest drama – his first since ‘A Prophet’ in 2009 – stalks the fringes and extremes of human experience. It’s an end-of-the-line story of a man and woman. She’s a strong spirit dampened by a terrible accident; he’s a homeless single father who scrapes a living from street-fighting. They meet in adversity on the Cote d’Azur and develop an odd, fragile bond.

Ali (Matthias Schoenaerts) travels from Belgium to the south of France to stay with a sister he barely knows, bringing along his good-natured young son, Sam (Armand Verdure). Taking work as a bouncer, he has a brief encounter with a woman, Stephanie (Marion Cotillard), who gets into a fight in his club. But it’s only after Stephanie, who trains and performs with orcas at a local sea park, loses both her legs in the most shocking of workplace accidents, that they meet again, after she calls him out of the blue.

Ali and Stephanie form a friendship, hang out on the beach and fall into bed whenever he gives the nod. He gruffly rejects any proper emotional connection, while she expects little from life and other people: her trauma has placed her in an emotional limbo. This is a bold relationship for any filmmaker and his cast to explore: here we have a woman with stumps for legs and a man seemingly with a stump for a heart. Yet Cotillard avoids straining for sympathy, while Schoenaerts offers a portrait of damaged reserve that means we’re willing to run along with him, even like him.

There are intense, violent and upending moments in which Audiard flexes his muscles as a master of gutter atmosphere and plays compellingly with textures and shadows, moving between the light and dark and revelling in half-seen events. It’s a film that vividly and confidently inhabits its own world. But, right from the off, you sense a director fighting to avoid melodrama, sentiment and predictability. It’s a valiant approach that makes for beautiful and strange-looking moments. Yet it also leaves us with a film that feels contrived, meandering and inert, as if the extreme events at its core – and these events constantly threaten to seem ridiculous in isolation – are mere excuses for a tourist excursion into the under regions of France and human experience.

‘Rust & Bone’ looks for the poetry in damage and is painted in blood, sweat and tears. The muscularity of Audiard’s approach becomes more macho and less appealing as the film goes on, and the script wanders down distracting byroads that make it feel episodic and inattentive. There’s an intimacy at the beginning of the film between Ali and his son Sam that’s never achieved in the relationship between Ali and Stephanie –though both Cotillard and Schoenaerts strive to give searching and meaningful performances. A hysterical climax that tips Ali into the realms of the loving and the loved feels manipulative and tacked on.

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Release details

Rated:

15

UK release:

Fri Nov 2, 2012

Duration:

123 mins

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

3.2 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:4
  • 4 star:4
  • 3 star:5
  • 2 star:3
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|21
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Justin Berkovi

Yet ANOTHER disastrous Time Out review. Why is it your critics get everything so completely WRONG?! This is a film about people's lives and how they interact, often at all odds and complexities. Just because life's stories are committed to film does not mean they have to make sense, stand for something or offer answers. I found this a knockout powerhouse of a film. Yes there are a few flaws but it's brilliantly acted and strong in an uncomfortable way, as though you can't bear to see life fold out for all it's flaws.

Justin Berkovi

Yet ANOTHER disastrous Time Out review. Why is it your critics get everything so completely WRONG?! This is a film about people's lives and how they interact, often at all odds and complexities. Just because life's stories are committed to film does not mean they have to make sense, stand for something or offer answers. I found this a knockout powerhouse of a film. Yes there are a few flaws but it's brilliantly acted and strong in an uncomfortable way, as though you can't bear to see life fold out for all it's flaws.

dagger

moving and amazing--though i am possibly biased as a single mom who loves both tough guys and amputees--I can say that also I have never sobbed and nearly run from the telly like I did at the end--you'll see--Damn. That was one heck of a movie!

dagger

moving and amazing--though i am possibly biased as a single mom who loves both tough guys and amputees--I can say that also I have never sobbed and nearly run from the telly like I did at the end--you'll see--Damn. That was one heck of a movie!

DutchFimFan

I was moved by this movie and especially by the performances of Marion Cotillard and Matthias Schoenaerts. Considering the middle-of-the-road performances of some of the Oscar-nominated performances of the last few years (for example James Franco in 127 hours if you were to ask me!), these two actors certainly deserve to be nominated for a couple of acting prizes during the forthcoming awards season! I agreed with the Dutch reviewers of this film which was shown here quite a while ago and will like to give this film 4 stars!!! Recommended.

Paul

I enjoyed the film, a good yarn and the sight of amputee sex was unexpectedly stimulating, I blame the Paralympics for putting the idea into my head

Numpty

A lovely thought provoking film, all about the human condition; loneliness, despair, 'joie de vivre', etc. The colours are bright, you can feel the warmth of the sun on your skin and taste the salt of the sea. Yes, he uses a few directorial 'devices', not cynically, but rather to tell a story and stimulate your emotions. Well acted, beautifully shot, and really quite touching. I'm going again tomorrow.....!mth of the sun of your skin

CA

Don't believe the hype. It was okay, but not as great as people have made out. The whole concept of the killer whale could just as easily have been replaced with a car crash or farming accident or anything. It only served one narrative purpose. It could have just as easily been pulled out of a hat of "crazy accidents we haven't seen on film before just to be different." Her involvement in the fights was out of place. The sequence with the kid on the ice was predictable and tacked on. The final shot and how they end up is like a whole film in itself (think Rocky). Only emotional attachment I had was at the beginning when he's scouring the train for food.

critique

This is filmed masterfully, is acted intensely and boasts memorable moments but the story never gripped me and the characters never truly engaged me. Phil Ince & Nick Bowman: re the phone call - i took it that there was an instant (unfulfilled) attraction between Ali and Stephanie upon their first meeting. When Stephanie was depressed, bored and lonely following her accident, she decided to give Ali a call.

Peter Ludbrook

I'm with Dave Calhoun on this one. I found Stephanie's phone call to Ali after the accident both inexplicable and implausible. Notwithstanding superb performances by both Cotillard and Schoenaerts I found their relationship difficult to believe in. The final plot contrivance of the child falling through ice that only moments before had been able to bear the father's weight rang false which undermined the final redemptive scenes. The sene that touched me most was the one where Stephanie stand outside the aquarium tank and summons an orca to come to her. I found that relationship more believable than the human ones depicted. I give three stars because of the undeniable quality of the acting.

Nick Bowman

What a let down...flabby when it needs to be taut, and so so contrived...the phone call after the accident...and him responding are odd, and the scene in the snow was obvious and painful...and did anyone really care about the main characters...I doubt it

Oli

Audiard has done it again: delivered a gut-wrenching movie which oscillates between realism and stylism. The acting is impeccable (Cotillard has such an expressive face and is really a master at conveying emotions with the slightest touch. I thought the relationship evolved organically and realistically. Some reviewers have comlained that some events int he film were not explained or made sense. Well, for one I appreciated this. Often in life people act in ways that do not seem logiscal to the outisde world but surely must have some internal logic. I liked that I had to project myself int he characters to try to understand their actions. Anyway, I would warmly recommend the film to anyone. Even if not everyone will end up lovinh it as much as me, it will make for an interesting, challenging and original journey.

Oli

Audiard has done it again: delivered a gut-wrenching movie which oscillates between realism and stylism. The acting is impeccable (Cotillard has such an expressive face and is really a master at conveying emotions with the slightest touch. I thought the relationship evolved organically and realistically. Some reviewers have comlained that some events int he film were not explained or made sense. Well, for one I appreciated this. Often in life people act in ways that do not seem logiscal to the outisde world but surely must have some internal logic. I liked that I had to project myself int he characters to try to understand their actions. Anyway, I would warmly recommend the film to anyone. Even if not everyone will end up lovinh it as much as me, it will make for an interesting, challenging and original journey.

gyms

I thought it was a gripping film, worth much more than Calhoun's disparaging review.

Ian

Conny, it wasn't just you. I found it rather underwhelming and disappointing. To me it felt cliched and ends really rather disappointingly. Cotillard is excellent but she can't carry the film on her own. A disappointing 2 stars for me.

Conny

Completely agree with the review - there are some good moments but overall the film feels contrived and the love story is manipulative. I may be in the minority, but I have found this film truly overrated.

Andy Conway

Decent review which belies my fears that Time Out will morph into an organisation more concerned with advertising than objectivity. How I miss the proper magazine. Anyway, I saw Rust And Bone Saturday night. Was it just me, or did the post-movie interviewees and the audience appear slightly underwhelmed? This was the London premiere! 3 stars from me, on the basis of all the performances from a great ensemble and the film's themes. There were some great moments which is why I feel that 2 stars is too harsh, but this is a missed opportunity. With (gasp!) better direction, a tighter, shorter plot and adherence to core values as opposed to trying to entertain, this could have been great. The film is a curate's egg, and I'm afraid that the curate's egg was disappointing. I look forward to reading more reviews though, and of course I have high hopes for Audiard's next movie!

john o sullivan

I think this is a film for people that dont like art cinema Its all very visual and cut skillfully with requisite tied up in a bow ending but it has little of the wit of the much superrior "Read my lips" Which this is very much a companion piece as for the acting Marion does needy again and Matthias doe lovable brute... no stetch then its a decent film and you almost want to visit waterworld ooops own goal for Greenpeace