Rust and Bone: DVD Review
Released by Hopscotch and Universal Home Entertainment
Rust and Bone is from the director of the wonderful A Prophet and stars Marion Cotillard as Stephanie, an Orca trainer at a local Marineland Water Park. A chance meeting at a club one night means she meets drop out Alain (Matthias Schoenaerts) who's penniless and landed with his 5 year old son. Despite Alain's attempts to hit on Stephanie failing miserably, the two are forced into each other's respective paths after an accident at the Water Park cuts short her career. Alain is a semi drifter, interested only in one night stands and a lack of real commitment, as opposed to Stephanie's warmer approach to life.
Faced by a life changing situation, Stephanie finds that Alain's aloofness is suddenly engaging and the pair form an unlikely relationship.
Rust and Bone is about two people dealing with their inner demons, and whilst it's been critically acclaimed, it is, in parts, somewhat aloof. Cotillard is sensational as the trainer who finds she needs unexpected support - her restrained and subtle performance conveys every necessary nuance and emotion without being showy or over-sentimental as these films occasionally have a tendency to be. Likewise, Schoenaerts' dropout may be lacking a lot of emotion and living only from day to day via violent or sexual interactions, but he's the perfect foil to Cotillard; a brutal yet downbeat man, who's trying to make his way in the world. Initially, it's hard to fathom why Stephanie calls but in the slow reveal of the film, it's abundantly clear that Audiard is once again reuniting with his themes of two disparates who find their lives intertwined.
There are a couple of gasp aloud moments within the film, which shock and rock, but there are also swathes of slow patches too. But it's a potent mix, firing together a dramatic cocktail worth drinking down - even if the narrative choices at the end are a little lacking the punch needed for a more satisfying resolution.
Ultimately, Rust and Bone is engrossing cinema, anchored by a stunning performance from Cotillard.