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Rust and Bone

Marion Cotillard and Matthias Schoenaerts shine in Jacques Audiard’s undeniably brilliant, Rust and Bone, that just won Best Film at the 56th BFI London Film Festival.

Ali (Schoenaerts), is a single father who is struggling to make ends meet. To give his son some stability, he hitch-hikes across the country to his sister’s house to start a new life for the both of them. Ali takes a job as a bouncer at a local nightclub, and when he breaks up a fight and meets our heroine, Stephanie (Cotillard). As she is at the club alone, Ali escorts a slightly beat up Stephanie home, where we discover that she trains Orca whales for aquatic performances at Marineland Park. What unfolds is a beautiful and unashamedly brutal love story.

I’m only giving the bare facts for a reason. I knew nothing of the plot going in, and I think that this is a film which takes you on such a journey, that it is better not to know where you are going! Plot twists will completely blind-side you, so the less you know the better! However, the strength of the piece does not lie in it’s plot – it is in performance.

At times I found Rust and Bone hard to watch, but the humanity is ever prevalent and subtly captured. The standard of acting across the board is incredible. Leading from the front Cotillard (best known for her Oscar winning performance La Vie en Rose) is at her best. She is animalistic, powerful and beyond sexy (I can certainly see a second Oscar in her hand!) Matthias Schoenaerts’ presence is undeniable; both physically and emotionally. I have never seen/heard of him before, but what a talent! He has given Ali so much depth, and there are too many layers to catch with one viewing of the film. Although brilliant individually, the chemistry created when the two share the screen is exquisite. The other relationships the film such as Ali and his sister, Stephanie and the Ocra Whale’s she trains, all hold such truth- each connection is given space to flower, and all hold weight.

This truly is a phenomenal film. An original love story that will effect you deeply. I would say – watch it, then watch it again!

USA Release: 
16th November 2012 Rating: 
Average: 5 (1 vote)
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UK Release Date: 
Friday, November 2, 2012
USA Release Date: 
Friday, November 16, 2012