Rust and Bone

Rust and Bone, Jacques Audiard follow up to ‘A Prophet’, is not an easy watch at times but even in its darkest places there is always something beautiful about it. Whether it’s the stunning camera work or the two amazing central performances this love story/drama has a way of holding your attention. After a chance encounter whale trainer Stephanie and bare knuckle boxer Ali will be drawn together again under very different circumstances and it’s this unlikely pairing that makes up the majority of this beguiling tale. Filled with equal amounts of tragedy and hope we follow the two, both broken in their own ways, as they struggle to cope with emotions and find some kind of solace in each other. There are disturbing and poignant moments and even the odd bit of humour that raises the tone slightly in places and the use of modern day music also adds to the overall mood but it is really Marion Cotillard and Matthias Schoenaerts as the emotionally crippled couple that give the film its sheer raw power. Cotillard is particularly believable as the young woman who experiences a life changing incident one which pushes her closer to Ali, himself going through a dark period. Unfortunately Ali is perhaps the most unlikable character in recent cinema memory and with no redeemable qualities it’s hard to feel anything for him unlike Stephanie who you can totally empathise with which for me made it hard to see her characters motivation to be with someone like him. This may have been done on purpose by the director or just be the way I interpreted it but it’s not enough to detract from this superb piece of filmmaking. An unconventional story told in a conventional way with brutal honesty and masterful direction a must see that will surely get many a nomination come awards season.

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