Rust and Bone is a bit of a wild card for me. I’d read a brief synopsis and watched a short trailer before hand but both gave very little away. My decision to watch it was based purely on good reviews and a certain charm possessed by Marion Cotillard which apparently I can’t resist. It’s also the first film I’ve paid to watch in a long time. Working in a cinema has its perks (watching films for free) but occasionally there’ll be films we don’t show, like foreign or independent films the cinema think will generate poor box office. This is one of those films. So I had to go else where and pay.
It was a well spent £8.50. Rust and Bone is a brilliant film driven by two incredible performances in two very moving stories that merge unexpectedly into one.
Although I haven’t seen La Vie En Rose which is often noted as Cotillard’s best performance this is by far her best work of any film I’ve seen her in. It’s a challenging role in which she plays an Orca whale trainer adapting to life after an accident leaves her disabled. Struggling with her new situation she unexpectedly finds comfort in a brutish nightclub bouncer and absent father Alain (Matthias Schoenaerts) who comes to her rescue outside the bar and the two form an unconventional bond.
Matthias Schoenaerts is phenomenal as the struggling father of five year old son Sam (Armand Verdure). He tries to make ends meet but fails both professionally and as a single parent; his selfishness constantly bringing him down. Stephanie (Cotillard) becomes the good in him, while he brings her back to life.
This is one of the best films I’ve seen this year, and shamefully one of the only foreign films I’ve been to see in a while. The story is incredibly strong and successfully manages to delve into the lives of two characters in individual stories as well as theirs together. It’s emotional, at times very serious but still manages to get a laugh here and there. And it’s gritty but also beautiful visually. There’s a really nice contrast there between these dark moments clouded with sadness and hard hitting scenes and the lighter really enjoyable scenes mainly between Stephanie and the Orca whales but also there are some lovely scenes between her and Alain that are really touching. I cried a lot and Laughed a little but I enjoyed the whole thing. It’s beautifully filmed and the soundtrack though a little odd in parts is perfectly fitting.
I’d pay £8.50 to see it again.