Rust and Bone

January 12, 2013 1 Comment


Rating:  9/10

I’m hungry” are the first words spoken in Jacques Audiard’s daring new film ‘Rust and Bone.”

Spoken by Sam, a waif-like five year old, they also represent the expression of the hunger for love, redemption and healing,the central themes of this gripping movie, which actually contains minimal dialogue.  It is, nonetheless, a complicated story about wounded souls with battered bodies (a whale trainer(Marion Cotillard) who loses her legs in a tragic Sea World-like accident and an angry, self absorbed and defeated exboxer(Matthias Schoenaerts) who continues to fail in every category imaginable) who struggle together to for meaning, connection and redemption.  Sound like a  handful?  Audiard challenges his audience by making his two characters quite unlikeable.  We may pity Stephanie(Cotillard) and loathe Ali(Schoenaerts) but can we identify and yearn for their success?  Much of the criticism of this film seems to come from those who decided not to make the leap into the world of these two damaged beings, claiming disconnect or even contempt for them.  That Audiard has the “audacity” to unfold his story within a melodramatic framework has resulted in snickering from those who experience the possibility of redemption as contrived and inexplicable.

I suggest they look closer.  Audiard is a master at subtle coherence and his use of lighting and water throughout this film provide the consistency and foreshadowing that some seem to have overlooked.  It’s there from the opening credits to the very end of the film.   What is our animal nature?  How and why should we care and love?  How do we do it?  How does change occur?  Does it?  How do we break through the ice of our own limitations to get to who we love?  Brute force?   (This is a near spoiler and i apologize if it goes too far).

Audiard’s recent film “A Prophet’  shares much of the director’s themes and influences and is available on DVD.

Visual images convey much of the power in this quiet film(the sound track is minimal, but also gripping, mixing Bruce Springstein and Katy Perry very effectively).

I think this is one of the best films of the year, regardless of its lack of recognition by the Academy.  This is a must see movie!!!!!!!!!!!!

Must See Movie of the Week
One Comment to “Rust and Bone”
  1. Bruce Russell says:

    People lose their legs and sometimes their loves. It’s not easy adjusting to the loss. If it’s your legs, maybe the best way to deal with it is to just jump back in and swim. With love maybe dating clubs is the answer. But then what if you find someone who has always been lost? What if he is an animal and leaves you at a party for someone with pretty legs or a younger, prettier face? Should you run away on your prosthetics or stay and get your teeth knocked out? In “Rust and Bone,” Stephanie stays and watches her man get his teeth knocked out, manages his fights, enjoys them, f…s him like a wild animal in heat. Does all this transform her man, Ali? I won’t spoil it but the weakest part in the film comes at the end. It seems like a little miracle that gets us from A to B. Can a sister’s indignation and a slap in the face wake you up?

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