Put in charge of his young son, Alain (Ali) leaves for Belgium for Antibes to live with his sister and her husband as a family. Ali’s bond with Stephanie, a killer whale trainer, grows deeper after Stephanie suffers a horrible accident.
Coming off a run of positive reviews at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, DE ROUILLE ET D’OS or it’s english translation RUST AND BONE directed by Jacques Audiard (A Prophet) and, starring Marion Cotillard (Inception, The Dark Knight Rises, Midnight in Paris). RUST AND BONE is based on the short stories of Craig Davidson which was published in 2005 tells the story of an unemployed 25 year old man who falls in love with a whale trainer.
RUST AND BONE opens with Ali (Matthais Schoenaerts) and son, Sam (Armand Verdue) traveling to their new neighbourhood after an unexplained fall out with Sam’s mother. In an attempt to start a new life, Ali starts work as a bouncer at a rather ‘seedy’ club where, in a chance encounter, he meets Stephanie (Marion Cotillard). From here certain events unravel and a relationship forms between the two.
Although the ﬁlm is shocking, touching and honest for the most part, I wasn’t drawn to like the character of Ali, but felt compassion for Stephanie. I was a little angered when the pair became good friends and more, but also felt like Stephanie was taking the easy option when it came to men as Ali was ʻeasyʼ for her and free to be there whenever he was available. It felt like Ali was using Stephanie and the people around him to get what he wanted in life, he never wanted to listen to other people and generally came off arrogant and selﬁsh.
Marions performance deﬁnitely deserves praise, she brought the audience to tears with laughter, heartfelt and charismatic scenes. She was deﬁnitely the rose between the thorns of the ﬁlm (Ali and the accident). Both Marion and Matthias gave their characters depth which sometimes other actors or a screenplay can miss. This made their relationship and the ﬁlms progression more interesting as we learned more about each character.
The ﬁlm is mostly based on the fact that the decisions people make in life have consequences and you will have to live with those consequences.
Nominated for the Palme dʼOr (highest award offered) at Cannes Film Festival, this ﬁlm isnʼt something you forget about when you leave the cinema. The ﬁlm is subtitled and playing in selected cinemas March 28. If you enjoy French cinema, give it a look. I rate it 6 out of 10 stars.