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Gritty relationship drama will shock and/or move you
on December 5, 2012
"De Rouille et D'os" (English title: "Rust and Bone"; 115 min.) is a 2012 French-Belgian co-production that was first released at the 2012 Cannes film festival. The movie is directed by Jacques Audiar, the guy who brought us the excellent "The Prophet" movie a few years ago. The movie stars Belgian actor Matthias Schoenarts as Ali, who along with his 5 yr. old son, and down on his luck, is moving in with his sister and her husband in Antibes (Southern France). Ali is the muscular type, and he finds a job as a bouncer in a local night club, where he eventually meets Stephanie (played by Marion Cotillard). Stephanie works as a killer whale trainer at the local waterpark. Stephanie is, like Ali, a strong-willed person and their relationship is not an easy one. Then one day Stephanie gets involved in a horrible accident at work, losing both her legs. To say that this throws her world upside down would be the understatement of the year. It also has immediate consequences on her relationship with Ali. At this point we're not even half-way through the movie, and to give more away about the plot would really ruin your viewing experience. You'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.
Let me tell you, this is one heck of a movie. Not always easy viewing, but it kept my attention fromn start to finish. Schoenarts, after his leading role in last year's Oscar-nominated "Bull's Head", confirms with this commanding, physical, and at times startling, performance that he is one of the most promising up-and-coming actors, and I am quite certain it won't be much longer before Hollywood comes knocking on his door. The performance of Marion Cotillard (who won a Best Actress Oscar a few years ago for her portrayal of Edith Piaf) has equally been gathering major buzz, although I found the CGI a bit off-putting. But nobody can contest that these two play out a challenging relationship on screen in a very believable and engaging (if sometimes nerve-wrecking) manner. I found myself at times almost shocked, but then also very moved, as the relationshiop between Ali and Stephanie plays out.
This movie was a box-office smash in several European markets (it was playing in its 15th week in Belgium when I saw it there in late August). This movie is MILES away from your standard Hollywood action fare, or relationship fare for that matter. But if you are in the mood for a top quality foreign movie, you cannot go wrong with this. "Rust and Bone" is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!